GST Collections may Help Beat Deficit Target: Goyal
India is likely to improve upon the fiscal deficit target this fiscal year thanks to rising goods and services tax (GST) collections, finance minister Piyush Goyal said. “There is a perception that the fiscal deficit will not be met, but I feel that we will actually do better than our budgeted fiscal deficit,” Goyal told reporters in the capital on Monday. The fiscal deficit target was revised in the February budget to 3.3% for FY19 against the 3% that it had been pegged at previously.
The government has already run up 55% of the budgeted fiscal deficit in the first two months of the financial year, raising worries in some quarters about a breach. The fiscal deficit stood at Rs.3.45 lakh crore in April-May. In the year-ago period, this was at 68.3% of the budget estimate as the government frontloaded spending. Goyal’s optimism stems from improved GST collections. He expects them to cross Rs 13 lakh crore on the back of the successful e-way bill implementation. GST collections stood at Rs.95,610 crore in June, having touched a record Rs.1.03 lakh crore in April, followed by Rs.94,016 crore in May.
“By the time the year ends, GST revenues would cross Rs.13 lakh crore,” Goyal said. “We have not yet got the full benefits of e-way bills. I feel there will be more improvement in revenues and some relief in taxes can be given.”
The Economic Times, 03rd July 2018, New Delhi