Fiscal deficit likely to be within 5.1 pc in FY14: Citi
Apr 01 2014 , New Delhi
While the April-February deficit is pegged at 5.3 per cent of GDP, the final print may be a tad lower due to revenue push and expenditure cuts seen in March, the last month of 2013-14 fiscal year, it said.
The official data showed yesterday that the fiscal deficit widened to Rs 5,99,299 crore in the April-February period of FY14, or 114.3 per cent of the target.
"While the revenue push in March could result in the FY14 full-year deficit coming in a tad lower at 5-5.1 per cent of GDP," Citigroup said in a research note, adding that the new government's budget would be a key factor to watch.
With election results due on May 16, the new government will likely present its budget in early July.
The government while announcing the interim budget in February this year had said that the fiscal deficit, which is the gap between expenditure and revenue, for financial year 2013-14 would be contained at 4.6 per cent of GDP.
Fiscal Deficit in April-February stood at 5.3 per cent of GDP, well above the government's estimate of 4.6 per cent of GDP stated in the Interim Budget.
The increase can largely be attributed to both slower revenue growth and higher expenditure growth.
After taking over as Finance Minister in August 2012, Chidambaram had drawn up a financial consolidation road map to lower the fiscal deficit to 4.8 per cent of GDP in 2013-14, 4.2 per cent in 2014-15 and 3.6 per cent in 2015-16.
The Citigroup report further said that although the government may not fully achieve its FY14 divestment targets, the recent stake sale in SUUTI holdings (Axis bank Rs 5500 crore) and successful introduction of CPSE ETF (about Rs 4200 crore) augurs well for subsequent years.
The stake sale of Hindustan Zinc and Balco, which has been pushed forward to FY15, would additionally help meet next year's goal, the report said.