The Mystery Of The 'Missing' Rs. 1.7 Lakh Crore In India's Budget -Sreenivasan Jain
Three days after the Union Budget was presented, questions have surfaced over a nearly Rs. 2 lakh crore 'fiscal hole' in India's financial accounts.
The anomaly was first picked up by Rathin Roy, a member of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council. Writing in the Business Standard, he studied both the Economic Survey and the Budget and found that the revenue estimates for 2018-19, in other words how much the government has earned, is a percentage point lower in the Survey than cited in the Budget.
That percentage point amounts to a whopping Rs. 1.7 lakh crore, a massive shortfall in earnings.
The Budget uses what is called the Revised Estimates (RE), a projection of how much the government was expected to earn, while the Economic Survey uses what is known as provisional actuals (PA), an updated, more accurate estimate of government accounts.
The Revised Estimates used in the Budget show earnings of Rs. 17.3 lakh crore in 2018-19, while the updated, provisional accounts in the Economic Survey show that the government has earned far less, Rs. 15.6 lakh crore, a shortfall of Rs. 1.7 lakh crore.
In percentage terms (total revenue as percentage of GDP), the Revised Estimate in the Budget pegs the figure at 9.2 per cent, while the updated number in the Economic Survey shows this as a whole percentage point lower at 8.2 per cent.
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