New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: In what could be considered as an impact of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian economy grew by just 1.6 per cent in the January-December quarter while the Gross Domestice Product (GDP) contracted 7.3 per cent in the financial year 2020-21, said the data released by the National Statistical Organisation (NSO).

As per the NSO data, the GDP had expanded by 3 per cent in the corresponding January-March period of 2019-20 while the economy had contracted by 4 per cent in 2019-20.

Earlier, the NSO had projected a GDP contraction of 7.7 per cent in 2020-21 in its first advance estimates of national accounts released in January this year. Later, it projected a contraction of 8 per cent for 2020-21.

"The measures taken by the government to contain spread of the Covid-19 pandemic have had an impact on economic activities as well as on data collection mechanisms," the NSO statement read.

India's fiscal deficit at 9.3 pc of GDP in 2020-21

Earlier in the day, the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) said that India's fiscal deficit for 2020-21 was at 9.3 per cent of the GDP, lower than 9.5 per cent estimated by the Finance Ministry in the revised Budget estimates.

Unveiling the revenue-expenditure data of the Union government for 2020-21, it said that the revenue deficit at the end of the fiscal was 7.42 per cent.

In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit works out to be Rs 18,21,461 crore.

For this financial year, the government had initially pegged the fiscal deficit at Rs 7.96 lakh crore or 3.5 per cent of the GDP in the budget presented in February 2020.

The government in the revised estimates in the Budget for 2021-22 forecast a higher fiscal deficit of 9.5 per cent of the GDP or Rs 18,48,655 crore for the fiscal ended in March due to a rise in expenditure on account of the outbreak of COVID-19 and moderation in revenue during this fiscal year.

Fiscal deficit had soared to a high of 4.6 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019-20, mainly due to poor revenue realisation.

(With inputs from PTI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma