Government meets FY19 fiscal deficit goal of 3.4%

New Delhi, Apr 9 (IANS) | Publish Date: 4/9/2019 12:53:51 PM IST

The government has met the fiscal deficit target of 3.4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in FY19, by reducing spending and higher borrowings from small savings funds, according to a government source.

Fiscal deficit of 3.4 per cent has been met on savings on expenditure and small savings corpus, the source said on Tuesday.

The government missed the tax collections target by over 1 lakh crore, including about Rs 50,000 crore shortfall in direct tax and Rs 65,000 crore in indirect tax receipts, said the source. 

However, the details about expenditure cut-down in ministerial allocations and borrowings from the small savings corpus were not shared.

IANS on April 4 had reported that the fiscal deficit target had been met on expenditure savings and small savings withdrawal. 

Sources had told IANS the government might have met the higher food subsidy bill by drawing Rs 30,000-40,000 crore from small savings corpus. In the budget 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had allocated Rs 1.69 lakh crore towards food subsidy, which was increased to Rs 1.71 lakh crore in the revised estimates.

The food subsidy bill was pegged higher in 2018-19 on account of rising procurement costs and the government decision to keep selling prices unchanged under the National Food Security Act. Under the Act, highly subsidised grain is provided.

The Pradhan Kisaan Samman Nidhi, announced for 2019-20, enabling farmers to receive Rs 6,000 a year, started in the last quarter of FY19. The scheme was allocated Rs 20,000 crore for the period. 

However, it’s certain that more than half of that could not be spent due to the Election Commission’s model code of conduct.

The disinvestment target has also been exceeded by Rs 5,000 crore, helping the revenue collections. Non-tax revenues, like dividends and buybacks, also helped in keeping the fiscal deficit under check.


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