Sunday, 23 September, 2018


India's fiscal deficit overshoots budgeted estimate by 113.6% in Dec

Representative image. Credit Reuters Representative image. Credit Reuters
Bennie Garza | 01 February, 2018, 23:16

While it has traditionally not been counted as part of the defence budget, the pension's bill for the armed forces this year (at Rs 1.08 lakh crore) is a sharp 26 per cent rise compared to the last allocation.

Given the increased buoyancy in direct tax collections and the increase in tax base, imposition of LTCG and increased cess (brings in Rs.11000 cr) coupled with GST regime settling down (expected to bring in Rs.7.4 lakh cr in 18-19) and a feasible disinvestment target of Rs.80000 cr, chances of fiscal slippage for 2018-19 would be low.

In fact "Khelo India" constitutes 23.67 percent of the total sports budget this year.

India has upwardly revised its fiscal deficit target to 3.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the 2017/18 fiscal year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told parliament earlier while unveiling the federal budget for the next fiscal year.

The total receipts - from revenue and non-debt capital - during the fiscal's first nine months were Rs 10.78 lakh crore, or 67.4 per cent of the estimates for the current year.

A Defence Ministry statement said the Defence Budget accounts for 12.10 per cent of the total central government expenditure for 2018-19, which is Rs 24,42,213 crore.

"A number of initiatives have been taken to develop and nurture intrinsic defence production capability to make the Nation self-reliant for meeting our defence needs". However, in the medium term this figure is estimated to taper to 1.3 per cent and 1.2 per cent in 2019-20 and 2020-21 respectively, it said.

He said that the development of border infrastructure is a priority, and announced that a new tunnel will be build under the Sela Pass in Arunachal Pradesh, in an area that China claims as its territory.

Later in the day, the defence ministry clarified that the first defence industrial corridor will be built starting at Tamil Nadu, linking Chennai and Bengaluru and announcement for the second corridor will be made soon. Last year, the strategic partnership (SP) model was included in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) with an intention to give a suitable platform to defence manufacturing in the country. And capital budget for the new space programme has jumped to Rs. 5,287 crore in comparison with 4,155 crore past year. Much would depend on how the expenditure side pans out in a pre-election year with stress on increase in farm income and a guaranteed 150% Minimum Support Price above production costs for agricultural produce.

The National Sports Development Fund's (NSDF) allocation remained static at Rs 2 crore while contribution to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) remains at Rs 1 crore.

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