On February 1, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the last full Budget of the second Narendra Modi government. While the Budget size is expected to expand further, a Business Standard analysis found the average variation in the Budget Estimate and actuals has been 5.26 per cent. In the ten years between 2012-13 and 2021-22, the government has been able to meet its Budget Estimate (BE) only four times (chart 1). The performance on the tax front has been similar, where the government is expected to exceed its BE (chart 2). The Revised Estimate (RE) for tax collections for 2021-22 was 14.2 per cent higher than BE.
Besides presenting the BE for the coming year, the Budget document gives the RE for the current year and the actual numbers for the previous year. The difference in divestment has been even higher, as the RE for 2021-22 was 55 per cent below the BE for that year. The government’s performance has been dismal in this reg
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