The Centre on Friday said the fiscal deficit target of 3.3% of the Gross Domestic Product for the 2019-’20 financial year was realistic, PTI reported. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the first budget of the Narendra Modi government’s second tenure during the day.
The government said it expects a net additional revenue of Rs 6,000 crore over the estimates made in the interim Budget in February. Credit rating agency Moody’s had warned earlier in the day that India might miss its fiscal deficit target, The Economic Times reported. In February, the government had projected a fiscal deficit of 3.4% of the Gross Domestic Product for 2019-’20.
“On the revenue side as compared to actual of 2018-’19, direct taxes are expected to increase by 17.5%, indirect taxes are going up by only 15%,” said Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg. “This is very realistic target in our judgement. On non-tax side, there is also an increase as we are expecting better dividends.”
The finance ministry official said estimated government expenditure would be according to the interim Budget’s estimates, with a small increase of Rs 2,000 crore.
“All these put together gives us a saving of Rs 6,000 crore as compared to interim Budget that brings down fiscal deficit from 3.4% to 3.3%,” Gard added. “Some concern raised that outside Budget there might be borrowing even there, there is the reduction. The fully serviced bonds, it has been brought down from Rs 64,000 crore to Rs 56,000-57,000 crore...so the number is reasonable.”