Q4 current account deficit at 8.1 billion US dollars on lower receipts

India’s current account balance (CAB) recorded a deficit of 8.1 billion US dollars (1.0 per cent of GDP) in the fourth quarter ended March 2021, as against a surplus of $0.6 billion (0.1 per cent of GDP) in Q4 of 2019-20 and a deficit of $2.2 billion (0.3 per cent of GDP) in the preceding quarter.

According to the RBI, the current account deficit in Q4 of 2020-21 was primarily on account of a higher trade deficit and lower net invisible receipts than in the corresponding period of the previous year. “Net services receipts increased on the back of a rise in net earnings from computer, transport and business services,” it said.

Private transfer receipts, mainly representing remittances by Indians employed overseas, increased to $20.9 billion, up by 1.7 per cent from their level a year ago. Ministries told to limit Q2 spending at 20% of BE. The Centre has asked many ministries and departments to scale down their Q2FY22 expenditure plans by 5 percentage points from the business-as-usual level of 25 per cent of full-year spending. The move is part of re-prioritisation of spending in the wake of second Covid wave. Departments and agencies that will have to restrict the overall expenditure include Labour, Panchayati Raj, Social Justice, Posts, Telecom, Consumer Affairs, etc.

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