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ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Government records $232b fiscal deficit

Fiscal reserves, meanwhile, stood at $927.8b, as of 31 March.

The Hong Kong government has announced it incurred a total of $816b expenditure for the year ended 31 March 2021, whilst it generated some $564.2b revenue.

This resulted in a deficit worth $232.5b after the receipt of net proceeds of $19.3b from the issuance of green bonds, under the Government Green Bond Programme.

Expenditure for the year recorded a variance of 11.6% ($84.9b) higher than the original estimate, whilst revenue was 1.5% ($8.3b) lower than the original projection.

Moreover, the consolidated deficit for the year was $25.1b lower than the revised estimate of $257.6b. Revenue was $20.7b (3.8%) higher than expected, largely due to stamp duties, and earnings and profits tax, which were higher by $10b and $7b, respectively.

Expenditure was $4.4b (0.5%) lower than forecast for the revised estimate mainly due to lower-than-expected requirements.

Fiscal reserves, as of 31 March, amounted to $927.8b, which includes some $219.69b balance from the Land Fund held in the name of “Future Fund.”

A government spokesman noted the provisional figures are still pending final closing of annual accounts.

Further, government debt stood at $27.2b over the same period. These were the Green Bonds that included US1b and US$2.5b in May 2019 and February 2021, respectively.

Meanwhile, debts guaranteed by the government reached $82.5b, also comprised of the guarantees provided under the SME Loan Guarantee, the Special Loan Guarantee Scheme, the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme and a commercial loan of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation.
 

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