April-January fiscal deficit at 113.7% of FY18 target

In niggling worry for the Centre, India’s fiscal deficit for April-January period of 2017-18 stood at 113.7 per cent of the full year’s target, which means a big spending squeeze.

The government outlined a fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of GDP in 2018-19 as against a revised estimate of 3.5 per cent in 2017-18, indicating some fiscal consolidation, albeit at a slower pace than that recommended under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) framework.

The fiscal 2018-19 budget saw a further increase in overall expenditure, with the biggest allocation going to transport, rural development, agriculture, education, and healthcare, as the key focus is supporting long term growth.

Now all eyes will be on the GDP numbers to be released later in the day. If there is 6.9 percent growth, that would top China’s 6.8 percent annual pace for October-December. The last time India had a faster growth rate was in the final three months of 2016.economictimes