Finance Ministry begins daily monitoring of revenue receipts to control fiscal deficit

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To keep the fiscal deficit in check during the current fiscal year, the Finance Ministry has begun daily monitoring of revenue receipts, including tax collections and expenditures, effective March 1. The government is expected to meet the revised tax revenue estimates, but the target of Rs 50,000 crore from disinvestment receipts could pose a challenge.

 

Officials believe that monitoring tax and non-tax revenue collections on a daily basis will enable the government to take timely corrective action as required. In an office memorandum dated March 1, the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) under the Finance Ministry emphasised the need for up-to-date information on a day-to-day basis to track receipts, expenditures, and the central government’s fiscal position in March 2023.

 

The Ministry has instructed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) to report flash figures. Other non-tax and disinvestment receipts must also be reported daily, according to the memorandum. CBDT and CBIC are responsible for collecting direct and indirect taxes, respectively.

 

Non-civil ministries such as railways, defence, and postal services must upload their accounting data daily on the e-Lekha portal, according to the memorandum.

 

The Center aims to achieve a fiscal deficit of 6.4% in the current financial year ending on March 31. As of January, the fiscal deficit had reached 68% of the budget estimates at Rs 11.91 lakh crore. Net tax receipts have increased to Rs 16.89 lakh crore, while total expenditure stands at Rs 31.68 lakh crore.

 

Disinvestment mop-up has reached Rs 31,106 crore thus far this fiscal year, compared to the full-year estimates of Rs 50,000 crore. Daily monitoring of tax and non-tax revenue collections, as well as expenditures, will aid the government in keeping a close eye on the fiscal position of the central government and taking corrective action as necessary.

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