Business Today - - THE BUZZ - FIS­CAL HEALTH – Di­pak Mon­dal

WARN­ING SIGNS of tighter fis­cal con­trol emerged with the govern­ment trim­ming bor­row­ings by ` 70,000 crore for the rest of the year. Tepid rev­enue col­lec­tions may ruin the party not­with­stand­ing ad­her­ing to the 3.3 per cent fis­cal deficit tar­get.

Un­til Au­gust this year, the govern­ment’s rev­enue col­lec­tion (`4.6 lakh crore,

13.34% jump over last year) was on track. The two spoil­sports could be: lower- thanex­pected GST col­lec­tion and dis­in­vest­ment pro­ceeds.

GST col­lec­tion from AprilAu­gust 2018 was ` 2.37 lakh crore, only 31% of the full- year es­ti­mate of ` 7.43 lakh crore, and, the govern­ment has only ` 9,500 crore against the di­vest­ment tar­get of ` 80,000 crore.

With no signs of a sud­den spurt in monthly GST col­lec­tion (which still hov­ers around

` 95,000 crore against the re­quired ` 1.04 lakh crore), and no big dis­in­vest­ments in sight, the govern­ment would be pin­ning its hope on net di­rect tax col­lec­tion, which has so far shown a strong 14 per cent in­crease against last year’s col­lec­tion.

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