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Budget, Economic survey show divergent numbers

The immediate implication is that many schemes are likely to have received lower amounts than the figures shown in the revised estimates for FY19.

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Last Updated: Jul 10, 2019, 07.58 AM IST|Original: Jul 10, 2019, 07.58 AM IST
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Overall spending is budgeted 20% higher in FY20 against provisional actuals as opposed to 13.4% when compared with the revised estimates.
NEW DELHI: There is a divergence in the numbers for FY19 in the budget presented on July 5 and the figures mentioned in the Economic Survey 2018-19 tabled in parliament a day before.

This is because the budget uses the revised estimates for FY19 and not the provisional actuals released by the Controller General of Accounts, which are included in the Economic Survey.

Total expenditure for FY19, according to the budget, was Rs 24.58 lakh crore, which is Rs 1.47 lakh crore more than Rs 23.11 lakh crore stated in the provisional actuals of the Economic Survey.

The immediate implication is that many schemes are likely to have received lower amounts than the figures shown in the revised estimates for FY19.

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The likely explanation for the variance is that the provisional actual numbers were not available by the time the budget documents were printed and the revised estimates were used instead. However, the Economic Survey, presented a day before the budget, used the latest numbers.

The sharp correction in the provisional actuals is because of lower tax collections, which were Rs 1.67 lakh crore lower in the Economic Survey than the revised estimates in the budget. Since the government wanted to meet the fiscal deficit target, it had to cut spending to adjust for this lower revenue.

Benchmarked against the provisional actuals, the budget numbers for FY20 look daunting. Net tax revenue growth is currently seen at 11.1% in FY20 against the revised estimates but is far steeper at 25% when compared to provisional actuals.

Overall spending is budgeted 20% higher in FY20 against provisional actuals as opposed to 13.4% when compared with the revised estimates.

The fiscal deficit for FY19 is moderately higher at 3.39% against 3.37% (rounded to 3.4%) in the budget. In absolute terms, fiscal deficit is more than Rs 10,000 crore higher in the provisional actuals of the Economic Survey than the revised estimate in the budget.

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