Fiscal deficit for Apr-Jul at Rs 2.64 lakh cr
Fiscal deficit in the first four months of 2012-13 stood at 51.5 per cent of the budget estimates -- slightly better compared to 55.4 per cent in the same period a year ago -- according to Controller General of Accounts (CGA) data released on Friday.
In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit -- gap between expenditure and revenue collection -- was Rs 2.64 lakh in the four months through July 2012, CGA data showed.
The slight improvement in fiscal deficit position is mainly on account of some tightening on expenditure front and higher growth in revenue collections.
The government's revenue collection increased at a higher rate of 18 per cent in April-July 2012 compared to 17.4 per cent in the corresponding period last year.
On the other hand, increase in expenditure was marginally lower at 29.3 per cent as against 29.8 per cent in the year-ago period.
The high fuel subsidy outgo is one of the major reasons for the ballooning fiscal deficit. The government intends to bring down the fiscal deficit, which touched 5.76 per cent of the GDP in the last fiscal, to 5.1 per cent of the GDP or Rs 5.13 lakh crore this year by cutting down on its subsidy bill.
The data showed that the net tax collections at the end of July, 2012 stood at Rs 1,42,789 crore, an increase of 18.5 per cent over the same period last year. Total expenditure was Rs 4,37,291 crore.
Amid concerns over high fiscal deficit, the government has appointed an expert panel to formulate a fiscal consolidation roadmap.