India's 2023/24 fiscal deficit seen slightly better than projected, source says

An attendant at a fuel station arranges Indian rupee notes in Kolkata

By Nikunj Ohri

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's fiscal deficit for the year ending March 2024 is expected to be slightly better than the government's projection of 17.35 trillion rupees ($207.81 billion), a government source told Reuters on Thursday.

"Extra tax receipts and some non-tax revenues helped in bettering the fiscal deficit target," the government source, who did not want to be named, told reporters in New Delhi.

Indian government will release the 2023/24 fiscal deficit data on May 31.

India's income tax receipts rose 17.7% year-on-year to nearly $235 billion in 2023/24, higher than government's projection.

The government is targeting a fiscal deficit of 5.8% of GDP for that financial year.

The official did not specify if the fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP would also be lower than target.

India's spending plans for April-June have not been impacted due to the ongoing elections, the source said, without giving details.

Meanwhile, the government will assess if it needs to undertake another round of buying back government securities, after the central bank accepted offers to buy back government bonds worth 105.10 billion rupees at an auction on Thursday against the notified amount of 400 billion rupees.

($1 = 83.4916 Indian rupees)

(This story has been corrected to change the fiscal deficit target to 5.8%, not 5.9% of GDP, in paragraph 5)

(Reporting by Nikunj Ohri; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly and Mrigank Dhaniwala)