A 9.4 per cent shortfall in receipts even against the revised estimate of Rs 19.32 lakh crore announced during the February Budget caused the Centre’s fiscal deficit to widen to 4.6 per cent of GDP in FY20, against 3.8 per cent (RE) budgeted, according to the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on Friday. This was the highest level of deficit for the Centre since FY13,when it stood at 4.8 per cent.
On the receipts side, shortfalls occurred in tax and non-tax inflows. With the pandemic hitting March collections hard, net tax receipts for FY20 stood at Rs 13.56 lakh crore, down 9.9 per cent from the RE level. With disinvestment plans going haywire, non-debt capital receipts in last fiscal year were just Rs 68,620 crore, against RE of Rs 81,605 crore.
Core sector output shrinks by record 38.1% in April
The output of eight core infrastructure industries plunged by a record 38.1 per cent in April as the nationwide lockdown to contain coronavirus pandemic caused a substantial loss of production across sectors.
The production of coal, natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement and electricity contracted in double digits in the month, according to official data released on Friday.
The eight core sectors had expanded by 5.2 per cent in April 2019 while in March 2020 the sectors had contracted by 9 per cent.
“In view of nationwide lockdown during April 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, various industries – coal, cement, steel, natural gas, refinery, crude oil etc experienced substantial loss of production,” the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement.
Production of coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity contracted by 15.5 per cent, 6.4 per cent, 19.9 per cent, 24.2 per cent, 4.5 per cent, 83.9 per cent, 86 per cent, 22.8 per cent, respectively. (WITH PTI)
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