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.