The government has managed to rein in the fiscal deficit during the first half of the current financial year to Rs 86,461 crore, which is 58.2 per cent of the Budget estimate. However, despite the buoyancy in tax revenues, the revenue deficit increased to Rs 69,277 crore which is 82 per cent of that estimated in the Budget.
According to data released by the Controller General of Accounts, the fiscal deficit has been sustained at these levels largely due to curtailing of Plan expenditure, which during April-September 2006 stood at Rs 68,879 crore.
This was 40 per cent of the budgetary estimate of Rs 1,72,728 crore. This has increased 16 per cent from Rs 59,406 crore in the same period last year.
Non-Plan expenditure stood at Rs 1,83,065 crore, which is 47 per cent of the Budget estimate of Rs 3,91,263 crore. This is also around 21 per cent higher than last years figure of Rs 1,51,577 crore. The overall expenditure during the period was higher by over 19 per cent at Rs 2,51,944 crore compared with Rs 2,10,983 crore in the same period last year.
Commenting on the state of government accounts, an official said: Things are more or less on track. However, the only concern is that the non-interest revenue expenditure has ballooned. This could be due to possible sharp increase in payouts for calamities and subsidy bills on account of increased oil prices. If that is the case, then the recent decrease in oil prices should reflect in lower outgo in the last quarter. The pattern on which the 12th Finance Commission awards have been given to the states could also be a factor.
Revenue receipts during April-September stood at Rs 1,61,406 crore, which is over 31 per cent higher than the Rs 1,2,845 crore collected during the same period last year. The revenue receipts in the first six months are 40 per cent of the Budget estimates.
The buoyancy in revenue receipts is primarily due to a 35 per cent increase in tax revenue at Rs 1,29,986 crore against Rs 96,249 crore during April-September last year.
Non-tax revenue was also 18 per cent higher during the period under review at Rs 31,420 crore compared with Rs 26,596 crore in the same period last year. Non-tax revenue in the six-month period is over 41 per cent of the Budget estimate against 35 per cent in the corresponding period last year.