April-January fiscal deficit at 113.7% of FY18 target

In niggling worry for the Centre, the fiscal deficit for the April-January period stood at Rs 6.77 lakh crore. That is 113.7% of FY18 target, which means Modi government may not do any extra spending in the remaining two months of the year.

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