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Gross fiscal deficit in relation to GDP India FY 2015-2020

In financial year 2020, the gross fiscal deficit in India was estimated to be a little over three percent of the GDP for that year. This was a decrease from the budget estimate of the previous year's deficit in the country. The fiscal deficit of the government is the difference between the total expenditure incurred and the total non-debt capital receipts of the government. It indicates the total borrowing requirements of the government. However, the estimates were made in the year 2018, wherein abnormal market fluctuations and the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic were unaccounted for.

The economic slowdown

The June-September quarter of 2018 saw a slowdown in the GDP growth, although market conditions in the beginning of the year were promising. It reduced the government’s tax revenue collections, in turn adding pressure to government expenditure. In 2017, India registered the highest primary revenue deficit (813932) of recent years. However, the revenue deficit in relation to the GDP, displayed a gradual reduction over the recorded period of time.

Impact from the pandemic

With concerns over gradually slowing economic growth, the government increased its fiscal spending in early 2019. With the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and consequent lockdown, the unprecedented financial stimulus package led to the worsening of the gross fiscal deficit. This further stressed the tax revenue system across the country. A major impact of the pandemic was the projection of negative quarterly growth of GDP in June 2020 across India. The fiscal deficit, as of May 2020, was estimated to be approximately two trillion Indian rupees.

Gross fiscal deficit in relation to gross domestic product across India from financial year 2015 to 2018, with estimates until 2020

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

FY 2015 to FY 2018

Supplementary notes

*Revised estimate.
**Budget estimate.
India's financial year begins in April and ends in March. For example, FY 2016 started in April 2015 and ended in March 2016.

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Statistics on "India"

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