H1 fiscal deficit 65.6% Budget estimates
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Fiscal deficit in the first six months of 2012-13 stood at 65.6 per cent of the budget estimates, slightly better compared to 68 per cent in the same period a year ago, according to Controller General of Accounts (CGA) data released today.
In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit -- gap between expenditure and revenue collection -- was Rs 3.36 lakh crore in the first half of the current fiscal, CGA data showed.
The slight improvement in fiscal deficit position is mainly on account of some tightening on the expenditure front.
Meanwhile, the government has raised the fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal to 5.3 per cent from the Budget estimates of 5.1 per cent of the GDP.
The government will continue efforts to restrict fiscal deficit in the current financial year to 5.3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reduce it to 3 per cent by 2016-17, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said earlier this week.
The fiscal deficit was 5.8 per cent in 2011-12.
The high fuel, fertiliser and food subsidy outgo is one of the major reasons for the ballooning fiscal deficit.
In order to bring down the subsidy, the government last month raised the diesel price by a steep Rs 5 per litre and capped the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinder to six per household a year.
"Every effort will also be made to realise the revenue budgeted under tax receipts. Government also expects to be able to contain and economise on expenditure, both on Plan and non-Plan side," he had said.
The total expenditure of the government declined marginally to 46.5 per cent as against 47.6 per cent in the year-ago period.
However, the government's revenue collection slipped to 37.5 per cent in the said period compared to 38.7 per cent in the corresponding period last year.
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