Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presenting interim Budget 2019 on Friday in the Lok Sabha.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presenting interim Budget 2019 on Friday in the Lok Sabha.

Budget 2019: Disinvestment target pegged at Rs 90,000 crore for 2019-20

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2019 16:27 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 1 (ANI): The Central government has pegged the disinvestment target at Rs 90,000 crore in the Budget Estimate (BE) for 2019-20 fiscal as compared to Rs 80,000 crore for the current financial year ending March this year.
“The government is confident of crossing the disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 crore this year and have kept a target of Rs 90,000 crore in BE 2019-20,” said Finance Minister Piyush Goyal while presenting the interim Budget for 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
“We have pursued the public enterprises' asset management agenda to make these enterprises accountable to the people. As many as 57 CPSEs are now listed with a total market capitalisation of over Rs 13 lakh crore. The government received over Rs 1 lakh crore from disinvestment proceeds during 2017-18,” he said.
The Interim Budget 2019-20 has pegged the fiscal deficit for the year 2019-20 at 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). “The estimate of incomes and expenditure which I am presenting today, pegs the fiscal deficit of the year 2019-20 at 3.4 per cent of GDP,” he said.
MANAGING DEFICITS
“We would have maintained fiscal deficit at 3.3 per cent for the year 2018-19 and have taken further steps to consolidate fiscal deficit in the year 2019-20. However, considering the need for income support to farmers, we have provided Rs 20,000 crore in 2018-19 RE and Rs 75,000 crore in 2019-20 BE. If we exclude this, the fiscal deficit would have been less than 3.3 per cent for 2018-19 and less than 3.1 per cent for the year 2019-20.”
The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit. It is an indication of the total borrowings needed by the government.
The Macro-Economic Framework Statement says that the revenue deficit, in 2018-19 was budgeted at Rs 4,16,034 crore, 2.2 per cent of GDP.
On the other hand, the current account deficit (CAD) widened to 2.7 per cent of GDP in first half of 2018-19 from 1.9 per cent of GDP in 2017-18, mainly on account of higher trade deficit arising from higher petroleum, oil and lubricants imports.
Despite the marginal increase, the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio is well on track to achieve its target level of 3 per cent of GDP.
The current account deficit is a measurement of a country’s trade where the value of the goods and services it imports exceeds the value of the goods and services it exports. The current account includes net income such as interest and dividends, and transfers such as foreign aid, although these components make up only a small percentage of the total current account.
The main focus of the ensuing year will be to improve the expenditure efficiency and improve tax collections to ensure that the economy moves back to the fiscal deficit path as mentioned in the Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management (FRBM) Act, says the Medium Term Fiscal Policy-cum-Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement.
The Medium Term Fiscal Policy-cum-Fiscal Policy Strategy statement further says that the gross tax revenue of the Central government is budgeted at Rs 25,52,131 crore in BE 2019-20. This reflects a growth of Rs 3,03,956 crore (13.5 per cent) over RE 2018-19.
TAX RECEIPTS
Direct taxes are expected to reach Rs 13,80,000 crore in BE 2019-20 as compared to Rs 12,00,000 crore in RE 2018-19 indicating an increase of 15 per cent over RE. It is expected that direct taxes would be 6.6 per cent of GDP at the end of 2019-20, says Finance Minister Goyal.
Indirect taxes are budgeted at Rs 11,66,188 crore in BE 2019-20 showing an increase of 11.8 per cent over RE estimates (Rs 10,42,833 crore). The increase is mainly on account of improvement in GST collections anticipated in 2019-20.
Non-tax revenue collections in 2019-20 is budgeted at Rs 2,72,647 crore as compared to Rs 2,45,276 crore in RE 2018-19. This shows an increase of Rs.27,371 crore over RE 2018- 19, as per the Medium Term Fiscal Policy cum Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement.
TOTAL EXPENDITURE
Finance Minister Goyal in his Budget speech said that the total expenditure has reflected a high increase considering low inflation. It has risen by Rs 3,26,965 crore or approximately 13.30 per cent from Rs. 24,57,235 crore in 2018-19 RE to Rs 27,84,200 crore in 2019-20 BE.
Further, 2018-19 RE figures have shown an increase over BE 2018-19 figures by Rs 15,022 crore. The capital expenditure, which is money spent on acquiring or maintaining fixed assets, for 2019-20 BE is estimated to be Rs 3,36,292 crore.
As per the Medium Term Fiscal Policy cum Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement, non-debt capital receipts on the capital side are expected to be Rs 1,02,508 crore in BE 2019-20 indicating an increase of Rs 9,353 crore over RE 2018-19.
Increase in non-debt capital receipts is mostly on account of disinvestment which is budgeted at Rs 90,000 crore. Total net borrowings in 2019-20 are projected at Rs 7,03,999 crore as compared to Rs 6,34,398 crore in RE 2018-19. This reflects an increase of 11 per cent over the revised estimates (RE).
FISCAL CONSOLIDATION
Finance Minister Goyal said: “We have maintained the glide path towards our target of 3 per cent of fiscal deficit to be achieved by 2020-21.”
“The government will now focus on debt consolidation along with completion of the fiscal deficit consolidation programme. India’s debt to GDP ratio was 46.5 per cent in 2017-18. The FRBM Act prescribes that the debt to GDP ratio of the Government of India should be brought down to 40 per cent by 2024-25,” the minister said.
TAX COLLECTIONS
Tax collections increased from Rs 6.38 lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs 12 lakh crore this year. “There has been a growth of 18 per cent in direct tax collections in 2017-18 and increase in tax base by as many as 1.06 crore people filing income tax returns for the first time in FY 2017-18, mainly on account of demonetisation,” said Finance Minister Goyal.
“There is 80 per cent growth in tax base. The number of returns filed increased from 3.79 crore to 6.85 crore. Within the next 2 years, almost all verification and assessment of returns selected for scrutiny to be done electronically,” he said.
“The Government has reduced tax rates, more for the common man and middle class, and made the interface with the tax department much simpler and largely faceless. Thanks to this, the tax collections increased significantly from Rs 6.38 lakh crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs 12 lakh crore this year,” he said.
Finance Minister Goyal said: “I thank the honest taxpayers of India for reposing faith in our Government. Let me assure them that we have used their contribution to serve the poor and create better infrastructure.”
RETURNS, REFUNDS
The Minister said the Income Tax Department now functions online, and returns, assessments, refunds, and queries are all undertaken online. “Last year, 99.54 per cent of the income-tax returns were accepted as they were filed,” he said.
Finance Minister Goyal said: “The government has now approved a path-breaking, technology-intensive project to transform the Income Tax Department into a more assessee-friendly one. All returns will be processed in twenty-four hours and refunds issued simultaneously.”
“Within the next two years, almost all verification and assessment of returns selected for scrutiny will be done electronically through anonymised back office, manned by tax experts and officials, without any personal interface between taxpayers and tax officers,” he said. (ANI)

iocl