New Delhi: Fiscal deficit in the first four months of 2012-13 stood at 51.5 percent of the budget estimates -- slightly better compared to 55.4 percent in the same period a year ago -- according to Controller General of Accounts (CGA) data released on Friday.
In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit -- gap between expenditure and revenue collection -- was Rs 2.64 lakh in the four months through July 2012, CGA data showed.
The slight improvement in fiscal deficit position is mainly on account of some tightening on expenditure front and higher growth in revenue collections.
The government's revenue collection increased at a higher rate of 18 percent in April-July 2012 compared to 17.4 percent in the corresponding period last year.
On the other hand, increase in expenditure was marginally lower at 29.3 percent as against 29.8 percent in the year-ago period.
The high fuel subsidy outgo is one of the major reasons for the ballooning fiscal deficit. The government intends to bring down the fiscal deficit, which touched 5.76 percent of the GDP in the last fiscal, to 5.1 percent of the GDP or Rs 5.13 lakh crore this year by cutting down on its subsidy Bill.
The data showed that the net tax collections at the end of July, 2012 stood at Rs 1,42,789 crore, an increase of 18.5 percent over the same period last year. Total expenditure was Rs 4,37,291 crore.
Amid concerns over high fiscal deficit, the government has appointed an expert panel to formulate a fiscal consolidation roadmap.
The RBI, which is scheduled to review monetary policy early next month, had kept key interest rates unchanged but cut GDP growth expectations for the fiscal to 6.5 percent blaming high fiscal deficit, sticky inflation and a possible drought.
The CGA data also said revenue deficit during the period was Rs 2,14,718 crore or 61.3 percent of the budget estimates.
Primary deficit during the period was lower at 94.8 percent as against 111.3 per cent in April-July 2011.
First Published: Friday, August 31, 2012, 19:35