India’s fiscal deficit for the first five months of the 2023-24 financial year has reached 36% of the full-year target, according to data from the Controller General of Accounts (CGA). The fiscal deficit represents the gap between government expenditure and revenue, indicating the government’s borrowing needs. In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit amounted to Rs 6.42 lakh crore as of the end of August.
Comparison with Previous Year
- The fiscal deficit at this point in the current financial year is higher than the previous year, standing at 32.6% of the Budget Estimates (BE) for 2022-23 during the same period.
- The Union Budget aimed to reduce the fiscal deficit to 5.9% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for 2023-24, compared to 6.4% in 2022-23.
Revenue and Expenditure
- Net tax revenue for the first five months of 2023-24 amounted to Rs 8.03 lakh crore, equivalent to 34.5% of the BE for the current fiscal. This figure was slightly lower than the 36.2% recorded in August-end 2022.
- Total expenditure by the central government during the initial five months was Rs 16.71 lakh crore, representing 37.1% of the BE. This is a slight increase from the 35.2% recorded during the same period the previous year.
- Of the total expenditure, Rs 12.97 lakh crore was allocated to the revenue account, while Rs 3.73 lakh crore was directed towards the capital account.
- The government’s total receipts at the end of August amounted to Rs 10.29 lakh crore, reflecting an increase from Rs 8.484 lakh crore during the corresponding period in the previous fiscal year.