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Fiscal numbers look healthier at October-end on higher indirect tax collections
December, 02nd 2015

The government finances looked healthier at the end of October thanks to a spurt in indirect tax collections and an early start to the disinvestment programme.

Although expenditure during April-October 2015 is marginally higher than a year ago, the Centre's fiscal deficit was estimated at 74% of the full year target, compared to almost 90% at the end of October 2014.

The real change was on account of revenue receipts, which at the end of seven months of the financial year, were estimated at almost 52% of the annual target compared to a shade over 40% a year ago.

Gross tax revenue was 23% higher at Rs 6.9 lakh crore as indirect tax collections shot up on account of higher duties on crude and finished petroleum products as well as higher excise levy on several other products.

But the growth on the direct taxes side was a little slower with corporation tax collections rising 14.4% to Rs 1.98 lakh crore. Income tax mop up too grew by around 14% to Rs 1.42 lakh crore during April-October.

In contrast, the excise duty kitty saw a near-69% rise, while service tax went up around 23.5% to just over Rs 1 lakh crore. Customs collections witnessed a more modest 17.5% increase to Rs 1.2 lakh crore.

Even the non-tax revenue comprising a share of profits and dividends from public sector banks and companies as well as RBI looked better.

On the expenditure side, the unproductive non-plan expenditure was estimated at around the 57% of the annual target, while plan spending shot up to 58% of the budgeted allocation compared to 46% in April-October 2015.

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