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Fiscal deficit to rise to 5.5% on higher spending; lower taxes

Fiscal deficit to rise to 5.5% on higher spending; lower taxes
PTI
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First Published: Tue, Feb 17 2009. 12 53 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Feb 17 2009. 12 53 AM IST
New Delhi: The government’s efforts to stimulate the economy will cloud its finances, with fiscal deficit projected to widen to 5.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) next fiscal - a development that would entail greater reliance on market borrowings.
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Fiscal deficit, a measure that tells if the government is spending within its means, was to come down to 2.5% of GDP this fiscal, but would now be wide off the target at 6% because of a fall in tax revenues, owing to the global financial meltdown, and measures to stimulate the economy.
The revenue deficit is forecast to increase manifold to 4.4% of the GDP during 2008-09, as against 1% estimated in the budget. For the next year, revenue deficit has been pegged at 4% of the GDP.
The gross tax revenue of the government during 2008-09 is likely to fall short by about Rs60,000 crore over the budgeted estimates, as per the interim Budget for FY10 presented by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday.
The shortfall, according to Mukherjee, was ”on account of the government’s proactive fiscal measures initiated to counter the impact of global slowdown on the Indian economy.”
As a result, the government proposes to borrow Rs3,086,47 crore through market loans in the next fiscal beginning 1April.
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First Published: Tue, Feb 17 2009. 12 53 AM IST