Indian economy faces the worst blow

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NEW DELHI: India’s federal fiscal deficit in the five months to end August stood at 8.7 trillion rupees ($117.98 billion), or 109.3pc of the budgeted target for the current fiscal year, government data showed on Wednesday.

Net tax receipts were 2.84 trillion rupees, while total expenditure was 12.5 trillion rupees, the data showed, indicating the government was facing a fall in tax receipts amid a rise in spending to combat the impact of the coronavirus.

The deficit is predicted to exceed 8pc of GDP in the 2020/21 fiscal year that began in April, economists said, from initial government estimates of 3.5pc, mainly due to a sharp economic contraction triggered by the pandemic.