Fiscal deficit for 2009-10 lower than budget estimate

Fiscal deficit for 2009-10 lower than budget estimate

New Delhi: Fiscal deficit data for 2009-10 was lower than budget estimate in both absolute and relative terms, thereby boosting the reliability of the country’s current year’s deficit projections for the bond market and credit rating rating agencies.

According to data released on Monday by the controller general of accounts (CGA), the fiscal deficit for 2009-10 was Rs4.12 trillion, lower by 0.48% compared with the revised estimate of Rs4.14 trillion announced in the February Budget.

In relative terms, the fiscal deficit was 6.6% of gross domestic product as against 6.7% estimated in the budget.

CGA data showed the government was able to keep the deficit under check by curtailing its Plan expenditure by around Rs13,000 crore, or 4.12%, as compared with budget estimates.

According to a finance ministry official, who did want to be named, the savings under Plan expenditure were largely because the government spent a smaller amount on the rural employment guarantee programme than what was expected earlier.