Indian economy

Government exceeded its fiscal deficit target for 2017-’18 in November

The difference between expenditure and revenue was high because of lower GST collections and higher spending.

The government has already exceeded its fiscal deficit target for the financial year ending March 2018, showed data released by the Controller General of Accounts on Friday.

The fiscal deficit – the difference between expenditure and revenue – was high because of lower Goods and Services Tax collections and higher expenditure, the CGA data said.

In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit during the April to November period was Rs 6.12 lakh crore, against a Budget estimate of Rs 5.46 lakh crore – or 112% of its target for the financial year 2017-’18, Mint reported.

In the same period in 2016-’17, the deficit was 85.8% of the year’s target.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it will borrow Rs 50,000 crore from the market above its budget estimate for 2017-’18. This additional market borrowing could take the fiscal deficit to 3.54% of this year’s Gross Domestic Product – value of all the goods and services – against the government’s target of controlling it at 3.2%.

The GST collections slipped to their lowest in November as rates were cut on several goods to make the new single tax regime more acceptable.

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