In the first half of the 2023-24 financial year, India’s central government faced a fiscal challenge, with the fiscal deficit rising to 39.3% of the annual target, a slight increase from the previous year’s 37.3%. This widening gap between expenditure and revenue amounted to Rs 7.02 lakh crore by the end of September 2023, as reported by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA). Despite efforts to contain the deficit, the figures reflected the financial landscape.
1. Fiscal Deficit Details:
- The fiscal deficit stood at 39.3% of the full-year target.
- In actual terms, the gap between expenditure and revenue amounted to Rs 7.02 lakh crore.
2. Budget Projection:
- The Union Budget aimed to limit the fiscal deficit to 5.9% of the GDP in the fiscal year 2023-24.
- This target followed a fiscal deficit of 6.4% of the GDP in the previous fiscal year (2022-23), which was slightly lower than the initial estimate of 6.71%.
3. Tax Revenue Collection:
- Tax revenue reached Rs 11.60 lakh crore, constituting 49.8% of the annual target.
- Net tax collection during April-September 2022-23 reached 52.3% of the year’s Budget Estimate (BE).
4. Government Expenditure:
- The central government’s total expenditure amounted to Rs 21.19 lakh crore, accounting for 47.1% of the 2023-24 BE.
- This expenditure level was marginally higher than the previous fiscal year, which stood at 46.2% of the BE for 2022-23.