Monday, 10 December, 2018

Govt not seeking Rs 3.6 lakh crore from RBI: DEA Secy

Government’s fiscal math on track, don’t need cash from RBI: Finance ministry Centre has not sought Rs 3.6 lakh crore from RBI, clarifies senior finance ministry official
Priscilla Morrison | 10 November, 2018, 08:29

Government's fiscal math is completely on track.

The government also wants the RBI to be lenient with capital adequacy norms, the official said, adding those norms for lenders are very stringent compared with global standards. This proposal sought transfer of surplus of Rs 3.6 lakh crore, that amounts to approximately one-third of the RBI's reserves.

With the government and the Reserve Bank of India being at loggerheads over issues such as allocation of the central bank's capital, former RBI board member YH Malegam said there is no provision in the RBI Act that says the central bank's reserves can be paid to the government. "The government has packed the RBI board with its handpicked nominees and is making every attempt to ram through its proposal at the meeting", Chidambaram said. Once this is finalized, excess reserves could be transferred to the government, providing the latter with a fiscal cushion. The statement from North Block comes ahead of the RBI's November 19 board meet, which is expected to take up the unfinished agenda of last month's meeting that had ended in a stalemate.

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"Having adequate reserves to bear any losses that arise from central bank operations and having appropriate rules to allocate profits (including rules that govern the accumulation of capital and reserves) is considered an important part of central bank's independence from the government". There is no proposal to ask the RBI to transfer Rs 3.6 or 1 lakh crore (trillion), as speculated.

To neutralise the mounting apprehension, Garg through his tweets stepped in to quash various news reports claiming that the government is pushing RBI to transfer its surplus reserve and that the RBI is reluctant to part with it to maintain its fiscal deficit, which due to several reasons is likely to breach the target.

"The government stares at a fiscal deficit crisis". From 2014-15 onwards, Government has succeeded in bringing it down substantially. "Government has actually foregone 70000 crore of budgeted market borrowing this year", he tweeted. "There need to be some norms for how much the RBI can keep", a top Finance Ministry official told BusinessLine.

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