The Centre has pegged fiscal deficit for the financial year 2023-’24 at 5.9% of India’s Gross Domestic Product, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Budget speech on Wednesday. The fiscal deficit for the current financial year of 2022-’23 has been retained at 6.4% of the GDP, she added.

Fiscal deficit of a government is the gap between its expenditure and revenues.

The finance minister said that in 2023-’24, the total receipts of the government, other than borrowings, will be Rs 27.2 lakh crore, while its expenditure is expected to Rs 45 lakh crore.

Fiscal deficit since 2018 (as % of GDP)

Fiscal year Fiscal deficit
2018-'19 3.40%
2019-'20 4.60%
2020-'21 9.30%
2021-'22 6.70%
2022-'23 (Revised estimate) 6.40%
2023-'24 (Budget estimate) 5.9%

Sitharaman said that to ensure fiscal consolidation, the government will aim to bring the fiscal deficit below 4.5% of the GDP by 2025-’26.

She also said that tax receipts for the next fiscal are budgeted at Rs 23.3 lakh crore and states would be allowed 3.5% of GDP as fiscal deficit. To finance the fiscal deficit in 2023-’24, net market borrowing from dated securities has been estimated at Rs 11.8 lakh crore.