Fiscal deficit rises by 73% till Nov

Fiscal deficit rises by 73% till Nov New Delhi: The fiscal deficit rose by 73 per cent to Rs 3.06 lakh crore in the first eight months of the fiscal against Rs 1.77 lakh crore a year ago, as the Government cut taxes and stepped up expenditure to stimulate the economy hit by the global financial crisis.

At this level, fiscal deficit has already touched 76.4 per cent of the budgeted estimate at Rs 4.01 lakh crore for the entire fiscal.

To spur economic activity, the Government initiated massive spending programmes and slashed duties from December last year. This has, in fact led, to revision of fiscal deficit from the estimated 2.5 per cent of GDP last year to six per cent this fiscal.

The Centre's expenditure stood at Rs 6.21 lakh crore, while receipts were just Rs 3.15 lakh crore till November, leading to fiscal deficit of over Rs 3 lakh crore.

In fact, the Government has pegged total expenditure at record level of over Rs 10 lakh crore this fiscal, 60 per cent of which has already been incurred till November.

Of the more than Rs 6-lakh crore expenditure incurred by the Government, 72 per cent is accounted by non-Plan outgo including interest payments.

The Government's tax collections at Rs 2.32 lakh crore contributed the most to its kitty.

Meanwhile, the revenue deficit, which is the excess of revenue expenditure like those in salaries over revenue income, rose to Rs 2.58 lakh crore till November, an increase of 82 per cent over the last year's corresponding revenue deficit of Rs 1.41 lakh crore.

The revenue deficit was 91.2 per cent of the annual budget estimate of Rs 2.83 lakh crore for 2009-10.