All You Need to Know About Revenue Deficit

The phrase “budget deficits” describes a situation in which the government’s budget expenses exceed its budget receipts. A budget may contain numerous forms of deficits depending on the types of income and expenses taken into account. The three types of budget deficits include primary deficits, fiscal deficits, and revenue deficits.

A revenue deficit occurs when actual net income is less than anticipated net income. This happens when actual income and/or expenses diverge from projected income and expenses. The exact opposite of this is a revenue surplus, which occurs when actual net income exceeds anticipated net income.

This shows that the government’s revenues are insufficient to support the operations of its departments. The government must borrow money from other sources when it spends more than it brings in.

Revenue shortfall:

  1. Is a measurement of government costs, including the utilisation of savings from other industries to pay for a portion of its expenses.
  2. Shows that in order to finance both its investments and its consumption demands, the government would have to borrow money.
  3. Increases interest and debt obligations, requiring the government to reduce spending.

As a result, a revenue deficit is a deficiency in revenue. The income account and capital account are the two accounts that generally make up a budget.

The Formula

Revenue Deficit = Revenue Expenditure – Revenue Receipts


Revenue Deficit = Total Revenue Expenditure – (Tax Revenue + Non Tax Revenue)

The discrepancy between the government’s revenue receipts and expenditures is referred to as the “revenue deficit.” On the other hand, revenue receipts are those that do not lead to a debt or a loss of assets. Then it is separated into two parts:

Tax receipts (direct and indirect taxes)

  1. Revenue Receipts from Non-Tax Sources

The word “expenditure” describes spending that does not lead to the growth of assets or the decrease of obligations. It is further divided into the following two groups:

  1. Organise revenue and expenses
  2. Non-plan revenue outlays

Revenue Account

The revenue on the current account, which includes both tax and non-tax income from the government, is referred to as the revenue account. Tax revenues are the earnings from the government’s different taxes, such as income tax, gift tax, customs duty, GST, and so forth.

Examples of nontax revenues include administrative revenue, commercial revenue from public sector activities, donations and contributions, penalties, proceeds from the sale of spectrum, escheat, and fees including court costs and fines.

A sort of government spending called an expenditure on the revenue account is used to purchase goods and services for consumption within a specific fiscal year. This spending is referred to as consumption expenditure as a result. Payments for wages, interest, and subsidies are examples.

Revenue Deficit

A revenue deficit—not to be confused with a fiscal deficit—is used to quantify the discrepancy between the amount of income that is projected and what is actually received. If a corporation or government has a revenue deficit, it means that their income is insufficient to cover their essential operations. When this occurs, it may borrow money or sell current assets to offset the revenue loss.

A government might either increase taxes or cut spending to make up a revenue shortfall. Similar to this, a company with a revenue shortfall may boost profitability by cutting variable costs like materials and labour. The majority of fixed expenses are more challenging to change because they are governed by contracts, such a building lease.

Revenue Deficit and Fiscal Deficit – The Difference

The revenue shortfall in the current budget is a reflection of debt incurred as a result of total income received and budgeted spending. A revenue deficit occurs when revenue spending outpaces revenue collecting. All transactions that have an effect on the government’s current receipts and outlays are covered in this section.

On the other side, the fiscal deficit is a measure of how dependent the government is on borrowing. The fiscal deficit is a proxy for the anticipated borrowing by the government; the larger the fiscal deficit, the greater the anticipated borrowing.

The Consequences of Revenue Deficit

1. Asset diminution

To cover its revenue expenditures, the government must either borrow money or sell assets. They may easily manage a portion of their revenue shortfall in this way.

2. A decrease in social welfare

Social welfare may be lost if the government is compelled to reduce spending on a range of welfare programmes and public subsidies.

3. Increasing debt and lowering creditworthiness

The government might be forced to take out loans from the general public, the RBI, the World Bank, and other institutions, which would increase obligations while simultaneously lowering the country’s creditworthiness.

4. Disinvestment

The option of disinvesting allows the government to sell a stake in a company operating in the public sector to either foreign companies or private individuals.

5. Inflation

Capital gains are used by the government to pay for consumption expenses. Borrowed money is used for consumption, which causes inflation, because it cannot be classified as an investment.

A “revenue deficit” is a deficiency that can be covered by capital inflows, such borrowings. To be more precise, it is a future debt obligation that has nothing to do with investments.

The government can either increase taxes or cut spending to make up a revenue shortfall. If not corrected, a revenue imbalance might lower the government’s credit rating. The government’s anticipated spending may be in jeopardy if there isn’t enough money to cover the cost of a revenue gap.

The government should make every effort to reduce spending and cut costs. The government can avoid a revenue shortfall by locating and putting cost-cutting measures in place.

The revenue shortfall represents dissaving on the government account because the government must raise money to cover the uncovered difference, either through borrowing or the sale of its assets.


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