April-Feb fiscal deficit rises 6%; growth of country's 8 core sectors slows down to 1%
 Source : News Bharati English  Date : 01-Apr-2017

New Delhi, April 1: The government's fiscal deficit stood at 6.05 lakh crore rupees at the end of February this year which is 113.4 per cent of the full year fiscal deficit target for the entire 2016-17 fiscal. For the same period the net tax receipts stood at Rs 8.85 lakh crore and for the month of February, the deficit is seen at Rs 41,400 crore as compared to Rs 40,600 crore (YoY).

Reacting to the released data Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist, ICRA said: "The Government of India's fiscal balances up to February 2017 raise the possibility that some of its fiscal targets may be missed, particularly with the revenue deficit being as high as 143% of the revised estimate level. Corporate tax collections, non-tax revenues and capital expenditure appear likely to fall short of the revised estimates for FY2017."

Fiscal deficit, which is a reflection of the government's borrowing to meet the revenue-expenditure gap, was 107.4 per cent in the corresponding period last year. According to data released by the Controller General of Accounts, the revenue deficit during the April 2016 to February 2017 period was 142.8 per cent of the budget estimate.

Growth of the country's eight core sectors slipped to an over one-year low of 1 per cent in February this year. This was mainly due to a fall in output of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser and cement. The eight core sectors had expanded 9.4 per cent in February last year, and 3.4 per cent in January this year.

According to Commerce and Industry Ministry data, crude oil output contracted 3.4 percent in February this year, natural gas output shrank 1.7 percent, refinery products output fell 2.3 percent, fertiliser output declined 5.3 percent, and cement output dropped 15.8 per cent during the month. However, coal and steel production recorded positive growth during the month.