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India's Apr-Oct fiscal deficit at around 120% of budgeted target (Lead)

New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) India's budgetary fiscal deficit for the April-October 2020-21 period stood at Rs 9.53 lakh crore, or 119.7 per cent of the budget estimates (BE).The 2020-21 deficit -- the difference between revenue and expenditure -- had been pegged at Rs 7.96 lakh crore, as compared to the revised deficit of Rs 7.66 lakh crore for the last fiscal.As per the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) data released on Friday, the fiscal deficit during the corresponding months of the previous fiscal was 102.4 per cent of that year's target.The Central government's total expenditure stood at Rs 16.61 lakh crore (54.6 per cent of BE) while total receipts were Rs 7.08 lakh crore 31.5 per cent of BE). Economists contended that the fiscal deficit widened due to higher expenditure, combined with lower revenue growth due to weak economic activity. "The overall fiscal picture for the Government of India for the April-October 2020 period remains grim, although the expansion in gross tax revenues as well as capital spending in the month of October 2020 are encouraging," Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA."The GoI's gross tax revenues recorded a healthy 17 per cent growth in October 2020, marking the first month of expansion in this beleaguered fiscal year. The YoY uptick in gross tax revenues in October 2020 was fairly broad-based, led by excise duty, customs duty, CGST as well as income tax, mirroring the pre-festive upswing in a number of economic indicators."India Ratings and Research's Principal Economist Sunil Kumar Sinha said: "April-October 2020 fiscal deficit April-October 2020 fiscal deficit at Rs 9.53 trillion was 119.7 per cent of FY21 fiscal deficit target. Fiscal deficit has been budgeted at Rs 7.96 trillion for FY21.""Higher expenditure combined with lower revenue growth due to weak growth performance led to revenue receipts for April-October FY21 coming in at 34.2 per cent of budgeted estimate of FY21. India Ratings expects FY21 fiscal deficit to come in at 8.2 per cent of GDP in FY21."
--IANS rv/sn/vd

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