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India likely to achieve fiscal deficit target in 2023-24, says govt

The Indian government is likely to achieve its fiscal deficit target of 5.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the financial year 2023-24, junior finance minister Bhagwat Karad said on Monday.

India’s fiscal deficit in the first seven months of the financial year ending on March 31, 2024 was Rs 8.04 lakh crore ($96.86 billion), or 45% of the estimate for the whole year, according to data released by the government last month.

However, the government has collected only Rs 10,050 crore from selling stakes in government-run firms as of Dec. 13, against its full-year target of Rs 51,000 crore, Karad told lawmakers.

“It is difficult to anticipate the quantum of actual proceeds from divestment during the current financial year 2023-24,” because stake sales depend on factors including market conditions and investor appetite, Karad said.

The Indian government could miss its stake sale target for the fifth straight year, and will struggle to raise even half of the proceeds it had targeted from planned sales of state-run firms this year, Reuters reported last month.


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