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. While calculating the total revenue, borrowings are not included.

Generally fiscal deficit takes place due to either revenue deficit or a major hike in capital expenditure. Capital expenditure is incurred to create long-term assets such as factories, buildings and other development. A deficit is usually financed through borrowing from either the central bank of the country or raising money from capital markets by issuing different instruments like treasury bills and bonds.

What is the difference between fiscal deficit and primary deficit? Primary deficit is one of the parts of fiscal deficit. While fiscal deficit is the difference between total revenue and expenditure, primary deficit can be arrived by deducting interest payment from fiscal deficit. Interest payment is the payment that a government makes on its borrowings to the creditors.

What are the views of different experts on fiscal deficit? Economists differ widely on their views on fiscal deficit. According to John Maynard Keynes, a deficit prevents an economy from falling into recession, while another school of thought is that a country should not have fiscal deficit.

Many economists think that if the deficit is financed by raising debt from the central bank it may lead to an inflationary scenario. Higher fiscal deficit is one of the reasons for the Indian economy to have relatively higher inflation.

What is revenue deficit? A mismatch in the expected revenue and expenditure can result in revenue deficit. Revenue deficit arises when the government’s actual net receipts is lower than the projected receipts. On the contrary, if the actual receipts are higher than expected one, it is termed as revenue surplus. A revenue deficit does not mean actual loss of revenue.  

The FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act rules impose limits on fiscal and revenue deficit. Hence, it will be the duty of the Union government to stick to the deficit targets. It also empowers RBI for taking measures to control Inflation. The Act also provide exception to government in case of natural calamity and national security. (Parveen Kaswan; Courtesy: Simplydecoded.com)