Govt not seeking Rs 3.6L cr from RBI: SC Garg

NEW DELHI: The government on Friday said it is

not seeking Rs 3.6 lakh crore capital
+
from the Reserve Bank but is only in discussion for fixing appropriate economic capital framework of the central bank.

“Lot of misinformed speculation is going around in media. Government’s fiscal math is completely on track. There is no proposal to ask RBI to transfer Rs 3.6 or 1 lakh crore, as speculated,” economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg tweeted.

He said the only proposal “under discussion is to fix appropriate economic capital framework of RBI.”

Exuding confidence about government’s fiscal math, he said, it will stick to the fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent for the current financial year ending March 31, 2019.

“Government’s FD (fiscal deficit) in FY 2013-14 was 5.1%. From 2014-15 onwards, Government has succeeded in bringing it down substantially. We will end the FY 2018-19 with FD of 3.3%. Government has actually foregone 70,000 crore of budgeted market borrowing this year,” he said.

The RBI and the government have not been on the same page on different issues for some months now. The disagreements came out in open when RBI deputy governor Viral Acharya, in a hard-hitting speech, said failure to defend the central bank’s independence would “incur the wrath of the financial markets”.

Govt pressure on RBI might be catastrophic: Chidambaram

It later emerged that the government had invoked a never-before-used provision of the law — Section 7 of the RBI Act — to ease NPA norms so that banks can kickstart lending and support growth, and transfer more dividend to boost liquidity — issues which the central bank thinks cannot be relented.

The rift has widened sharply in the past few weeks and will be taken up at the RBI’s forthcoming board meeting on November 19.

Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday had accused the government of trying to capture the RBI to tide over its fiscal crisis, warning that any such move would be catastrophic.

Modi govt trying to capture RBI: Chidambaram

“The government stares at a fiscal-deficit crisis. The government wants to step up the expenditure in an election year. Finding all avenues closed, in desperation, the government has demanded Rs 1 lakh crore from the reserves of RBI,” Chidambaram had said.

The former finance minister alleged that the government had packed the central bank’s board with handpicked nominees and was making every attempt to push through its proposals at the next RBI board meeting.

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