Global Economy

Interim Budget for FY25 to be realistic: Official

New Delhi: The government doesn’t foresee a major net cash outgo in the upcoming first batch of supplementary demands for grants for this fiscal year and the interim Budget for FY25 will be a “realistic” one in its projections, a senior official said on Wednesday. With the finance ministry’s series of meetings with various ministries on revised expenditure outgo coming to an end on Tuesday, the government now expects to meet its FY24 fiscal deficit target of 5.9% of GDP, he said.

Overall revenue collections are expected to remain robust this fiscal, while additional outgo under some programmes or heads could be significantly offset by savings in others and reprioritisation of expenditures, he said. The government had budgeted total expenditure at ₹ 45 lakh crore for FY24, while its tax and non-tax revenue was pegged at ₹26.3 lakh crore. The government is sticking to its budgeted FY24 nominal GDP growth rate (10.8% upon the revised base) for now, he said, indicating that any change in the pace of expansion is unlikely to disrupt the fiscal deficit ratio target.


Capex outlay

The government is focussed on containing its fiscal deficit at the targeted level of 4.5% of GDP by FY26, the official said, hinting at aligning the pace of its increase in spending with this fiscal glide path. The budgetary capex outlay, which has been hiked sharply in the range of 24-39% since FY22 due to its high multiplier effect, isn’t yet firmed up for FY25, he added.

Supplementary demandsApart from the additional outgo on the rural employment guarantee scheme this fiscal, the food subsidy bill is likely to breach the budget estimate of ₹1.97 lakh crore, he said, thanks to an extension of the free ration scheme beyond the December quarter and the hike in benchmark crop prices. Any rise in the fertiliser subsidy from the budgeted ₹1.75 lakh crore, the official said, would hinge on two factors-gas prices and cost of imports. The government will present the first batch of supplementary demands for grants in the next session of Parliament.


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