Budget: Fiscal deficit overshoots; Higher at 3.5% for 2018-19

New Delhi , Feb 1 : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday revised the fiscal deficit at 3.5 percent of GDP for 2017-18 and projected 2018-19 deficit at 3.3 percent of GDP.

This means that the the government missed the fiscal deficit target of 3.2 per cent in the current fiscal.

The government proposed no change in personal income tax rates for salaried class.

Jaitley said that a Rs 8,000 crore revenue was lost due to standard deduction allowed to salaried employees.

“Revised fiscal deficit estimate for 2017-18 is 3.5 percent of GDP, fiscal deficit of 3.3 percent expected for 2018-19. GST revenue for only 11 months, instead of the usual 12 months, is 21.5 lakh crore. There’s been a 12.6% growth in direct taxes in 2017-18; 18.7% growth in indirect taxes in 2017-18,. Tax buoyancy for 2017-18 is at 2.11 percent. Number of tax payers has increased from 6.47 lakh crores to 8.27 lakh crores. Companies with a turnover of up to Rs 250 crore to be taxed at 25%.,” Arun Jaitley announced in his Budget.

For the 2019 financial year a  disinvestment target at Rs. 80,000 crore has been set.

“There will also be shortfall of non-tax revenue. The total revised estimated expenditure is Rs 21.57 lakh crore against 21.47 lakh crore. Disinvestment was pegged at highest level of Rs 72,500 crore in last year’s Budget and the government has been successful in exceeding the target,” he said.

Finance Minister said that as many as 5.51 lakh new taxpayers filed returns in 2017-18, as against 66.26 lakhs in 2016-17. The number has increased from 6.47 crore in 2016-17 to 8.27 crore by end of 2017.

He said there was a Rs 90,000 crore additional income tax collection in 2016-17 and 2017-18.