Fiscal deficit touches Rs1.238 trillion in July-March

Fiscal deficit touches Rs1.238 trillion in July-March

ISLAMABAD: Fiscal deficit in nine months of the current fiscal year has widened by 3.7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to Rs 1.238 trillion, up by 22 percent of the same period last year.

When the Federal Budget for the fiscal year 2016-17 was announced, the government had set an ambitious target of fiscal deficit to 3.8 percent but was revised upward to 4.3 percent as the authorities felt that revenue collection target would fall short of the target.

The finance ministry figures released showed that fiscal deficit has been widened to 3.7 percent of the GDP where the tax to GDP ratio was 8 percent of the GDP as against 8.3 percent of the fiscal year 2015-16.

The government paid hefty amount of interest and external debt during the nine months of the fiscal year. The amount was Rs 1.094 trillion while in the same period last year the payment amounted to Rs 1.079 trillion.

The data showed that defense spending increased up to Rs 535 billion as compared with Rs 483 billion.

Despite lower price during the current fiscal year, earning of the government through and oil and gas sector continued unabated. Through petroleum levy earning was Rs 119 billion in July 2016- to March 2017 period up from Rs 104 billion of the same period corresponding year. The government also made quick buck from Gas Infrastructure Development Cess and natural gas development surcharge amounting to Rs 47 billion and Rs 39 billion repsectively.

One important aspect of the figures was that which hint that people from Pakistan are travelling more as the passport fee collection has been increased substantially during the period. The passport fee collection in nine months to March 31, 2017 amounted to Rs 13.591 billion as against collection of Rs 8 billion in same period previous year.

The data showed that overall revenue was Rs 3.145 trillion while the expenditure was Rs 4.383 trillion. In terms of percentage, total revenue was 9.4 percent of the GDP while expenditure was 13.1 percent of the GDP. While in the preceding year, revenue and expenditure were 9.9 percent and 13.3 percent of the GDP size.

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