April-September budget deficit hits $74.91 billion, tax revenue rises
NEW DELHI: India’s federal budget deficit in the first half of the financial year to September, it rose to 6.20 trillion rupees ($74.91 billion) from 5.27 trillion a year earlier, although rising revenue taxes helped to offset a higher subsidy bill.
India’s INFISC=ECI budget deficit for the April-September period reached 37.3% of annual estimates, official data showed on Monday, as the government spent more on subsidies for fertilizers, food and fuels.
Net tax revenue from April to September reached 10.12 trillion rupees, about 10% higher than a year earlier, helping the government despite growing fears of a revenue shortfall from the sale of stakes in public enterprises this year.
The federal government’s spending bill is expected to rise by nearly 2 trillion rupees this financial year, according to estimates by several economists, following higher allocations for grants, stretching the budget deficit.
However, an increase in tax revenues on goods and services, helped by a recovery in urban demand and higher inflation, could help meet the budgeted budget deficit target, they said.
Total expenditure for the first six months of the current financial year stood at 18.24 trillion rupees, up from 16.26 trillion rupees a year earlier, according to the data.
In February, during the presentation of the annual budget, Minister of Finance Smt Nirmala Sitharaman set the budget deficit target at 6.4% of gross domestic product for 2022/23 from April, up from 6.7% in the previous fiscal year.
The government aims to spend almost 40 trillion rupees in the current financial year, up about 4% from the previous year, but down in real terms due to near inflation. 7% this year.