India's Forex Reserves Dip by $2.03 Billion; Fiscal Deficit at 5.63% of GDP for 2023-24

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India's foreign exchange reserves have dipped slightly after reaching a record high. According to data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country's forex reserves decreased by $2.03 billion to $646.67 billion for the week ending May 24. In the previous week, the reserves had surged by $4.549 billion to an all-time high of $648.7 billion. The foreign currency assets, when expressed in dollar terms, include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound, and yen held in the reserves.

Decline in Gold Reserves

The RBI data also indicated a decrease in the value of gold reserves. The value of gold reserves fell by $482 million, settling at $56.71 billion during the reviewed week. Additionally, the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) dropped by $33 million to $18.13 billion. India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also saw a decline, decreasing by $1 million to $4.33 billion.

Fiscal Deficit for 2023-24 at 5.63% of GDP

The government's fiscal deficit for the last financial year stood at 5.63% of the GDP, slightly lower than the estimated 5.8% projected in the central budget. In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit, which is the difference between expenditure and revenue, was ₹16.53 lakh crore. In the interim budget presented on February 1, the revised estimate for the fiscal deficit for 2023-24 was pegged at ₹17.34 lakh crore, or 5.8% of GDP. According to the Comptroller General of Accounts, the government successfully met its revenue collection target, with net direct tax collections for 2023-24 amounting to ₹23.36 lakh crore, while total expenditure was ₹44.42 lakh crore.

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