India's fiscal deficit for the first 10 months of this fiscal year till January 2022 stood at ₹11.91 lakh crore, about 67.8% of the revised estimates for 2022-2023 at ₹17.5 lakh crore, data released today by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) shows.

The government's total receipts in the year-to-date period stood at ₹19.1 lakh crore, as compared to ₹18.3 lakh crore in the same period last year. The monthly receipts in January increased to ₹1.4 lakh crore as compared to ₹1.05 lakh crore during the same month last year.

The government's overall expenditure in the April-January period rose to ₹31.6 lakh crore, around 75.7% of the Budget 2022-23 estimates, as compared to ₹28.09 lakh crore during the same month last year. The monthly expenditure rose to ₹3.4 lakh crore in January 2023 as compared to ₹2.8 lakh crore during the year-ago period.

So far this fiscal year, the government's fiscal deficit was recorded the highest in September 2022 at ₹3.52 lakh crore, followed by December 2022 at ₹3.4 lakh crore and June 2022 at ₹2.1 lakh crore.

The government's revenue receipts up to January 2023 stood at ₹19.1 lakh crore -- 81.7% of the budget estimates -- of which ₹16.8 lakh crore was net tax revenue, while ₹2.3 lakh crore was non-tax revenue. The non-debt capital receipts up to January 2023 stood at ₹57,194 crore, 68.5% of the full-year target.

The government's revenue deficit up to January 2023 was recorded at ₹6.7 lakh crore, 61% of the full-year target of ₹11.1 lakh crore, while the primary deficit stood at 55.5% of the full-year target at ₹4.4 lakh crore.

According to India Ratings and Research, the government will be able to meet the fiscal deficit target set forth in the Budget 2022-23, despite burgeoning expenditure, on the back of higher tax collections driven by higher-than-budgeted nominal GDP growth in FY23.

The Economic Survey 2022-23 also expressed confidence that the county is on course to achieve the fiscal deficit target of 6.4% estimated in the current financial year despite additional spending on subsidies necessitated by the conflict in Europe. "The gradual decline in the Union government's fiscal deficit as a per cent of GDP, in line with the fiscal glide path envisioned by the government, is a result of careful fiscal management supported by buoyant revenue collection over the last two years," says the survey.

FM Sitharaman in her budget 2023-24 announcement said the fiscal deficit for 2023-24 is estimated at 5.9% of the GDP, and that the government will stick to the fiscal consolidation roadmap. Detailing the 2023-24 estimates, Sitharaman said: "The fiscal deficit is estimated to be 5.9% of GDP. In my Budget Speech for 2021-22, I had announced that we plan to continue the path of fiscal consolidation, reaching a fiscal deficit below 4.5% by 2025-26 with a fairly steady decline over the period. We have adhered to this path, and I reiterate my intention to bring the fiscal deficit below 4.5% of GDP by 2025-26," she added.

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