The Centre's fiscal deficit in the first five months of 2023-24 touched 36 per cent of the full-year target, government data showed on Friday.
In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit -- the gap between expenditure and revenue -- was Rs 6.42 lakh crore as of August-end, according to the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
The deficit stood at 32.6 per cent of the Budget Estimates (BE) in the corresponding period of the financial year 2022-23.
In the Union Budget, the government projected to bring down the fiscal deficit to 5.9 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the current 2023-24 financial year. The fiscal deficit was 6.4 per cent of the GDP in 2022-23 against the earlier estimate of 6.71 per cent.
Unveiling the revenue-expenditure data of the central government for the April-August period of 2023-24, CGA said the net tax revenue was Rs 8.03 lakh crore, or 34.5 per cent, of the BE for the current fiscal. The net tax revenue collection was 36.2 per cent at August-end 2022.
The central government's total expenditure in the first five months stood at Rs 16.71 lakh crore, or 37.1 per cent, of the BE. The expenditure was 35.2 per cent of the BE a year ago.
Of the total expenditure, Rs 12.97 lakh crore was on the revenue account and Rs 3.73 lakh crore towards the capital account.
Fiscal deficit is the difference between the total expenditure and revenue of the government. It is an indication of the total borrowings that are needed by the government.