India’s fiscal deficit at 8.04 trln rupees in April-Oct – govt

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s fiscal deficit for the first seven months of the financial year that started April 1 was 8.04 trillion Indian rupees, or 45% of the estimate for the whole year, government data showed on Thursday.

April-October net tax revenues were 13.02 trillion rupees, or 55.9% of the annual estimate, compared with 11.71 trillion rupees in the same period last year, according to the data.

Corporate tax collections have risen by 17.6% year-on-year to 4.82 trillion rupees in April-October, the data showed.

Total expenditure during the period was 23.94 trillion rupees, or 53.2% of the annual goal, compared with 21.44 trillion rupees in the same period last year.

In the first seven months of the current financial year, government capital expenditure or spending on building infrastructure was 5.47 trillion rupees, or 54.7% of the annual target, higher than 4.09 trillion rupees in the same period a year earlier.

India aims to narrow its fiscal deficit to 5.9% of gross domestic product by the end of the current fiscal year, from 6.4% last year.

Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth on Wednesday said the government is confident of meeting its fiscal deficit target for the current financial year despite higher spending on the free food grain scheme that has been extended.

India is committed to lowering the fiscal deficit to 4.5% of GDP by 2025/26.

(Reporting by Sarita Chaganti Singh and Shivangi Acharya; Editing by Alex Richardson and Christina Fincher)