New Delhi: The buoyancy in tax collections, especially in the third quarter of this fiscal, has helped the government in bringing down the fiscal deficit to Rs77,578 crore as against Rs94,854 crore a year-ago.
It also encouraged Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to claim fiscal deficit could come down to 3.1% this fiscal as against the budget estimates of 3.3%.
“The higher realisation of taxes in third quarter was associated with reduction in revenue and fiscal deficit,” Minister of State for Finance S.S. Palanimanickam informed Rajya Sabha while tabling the statement on third quarterly review of receipts and expenditure for 2007-08.
Continuity of these trends in revenue receipts would not only make available additional resources for funding higher outlay and expenditure in the social, agriculture and infrastructure sectors, but also enable a better performance of fiscal and revenue deficit targets than projected in BE 2007-08, the report said.
During April-December 2007, the revenue deficit was also down to Rs39,210 crore compared to Rs66,777 crore during the corresponding period last fiscal.
The revenue collections during the first nine months of this fiscal went up to Rs3,89,345 crore compared to Rs3,06,528 crore a year-ago.
However, to finance the fiscal deficit, the government mainly resorted to internal debt amounting to Rs1,08,453 crore and external assistance of Rs 4,491 crore, the report said.