Budget 2024 Live: FM Sitharaman Announces 5.1% Fiscal Deficit Target for FY25, Net Market Borrowings at ₹14.13 Lakh Crore

In the ongoing Budget 2024 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declares the government’s expectation of a fiscal deficit at 5.1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the financial year 2024-2025 (FY25). To meet this fiscal gap, net market borrowings from dated securities are estimated at ₹14.13 lakh crore.

Additionally, the Finance Minister revises the fiscal deficit target for the current fiscal year, FY24, to 5.8% of the GDP.

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Fiscal deficit, the variance between total government income and expenditure, plays a crucial role in economic management. Despite a fiscal deficit of ₹9.82 trillion during the first nine months of FY24, which amounts to 55% of the annual estimate, the government has witnessed a decline, thanks to increased tax receipts and non-tax revenue.

Data from the Controller General of Accounts reveals that total receipts during this period reached ₹20.72 trillion, with tax receipts at ₹17.30 trillion and non-tax revenue at ₹3.12 trillion. Notably, total expenditure rose to ₹30.54 trillion, constituting 67.8% of the annual estimate.

The government’s fiscal deficit has been narrowing since FY21, where it reached 9.2%, gradually reducing to 6.4% in FY23. Sitharaman, in her previous year’s budget speech, aimed to further narrow the fiscal deficit to 5.9% of GDP in FY24 from the previous financial year’s 6.4%. Stay tuned for more updates as the budget proceedings unfold.