Finmin, RBI to firm up borrowing schedule for second half soon

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - 15:50

New Delhi: Finance Ministry and Reserve
Bank officials will meet in the next 10-12 days to decide on
a schedule for government borrowings for the second half of
the current fiscal.

"RBI and Finance Ministry officials will meet over the
next 10-12 days to finalise indicative calendar for borrowing
for the second half of the fiscal (October-March 2009-10),"
Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla told reporters in New Delhi.

The government in the budget had proposed to borrow Rs
4.51 lakh crore during the current fiscal, up from Rs 3.1 lakh
crore during 2008-09. It had planned to borrow bulk of the
amount during the first half.

The government borrowing, sources said, will not
exceed Rs 10,000 crore in a week during the second half and
the entire programme will be completed by February 2010.

The government yesterday announced austerity measures
in view of the pressure on the exchequer due to the economic
downturn and drought situation in many parts of the country.

The Finance Ministry in an order asked every ministry
and department to cut non-plan expenditure like foreign and
domestic travel by 10 per cent among other things.

Chawla said the borrowings may come down if savings are
substantial following the austerity measures introduced by the
government.

"If savings are of substantial magnitude, then it will
have an impact on borrowings," he said.

As per the borrowing schedule for the first half, the
government is expected to raise Rs 2.99 lakh crore from the
market, which is 24 percent higher than the same period last
fiscal.

The remaining amount would be borrowed in the second half
of the fiscal (October-March) which is incidentally the busy
season as far as credit offtake is concerned.

Meanwhile, Expenditure Secretary Sushma Nath said there
are no signs of stress on the government expenses so far. And
the government will stick to Rs 10 lakh crore of spending
estimated in the Budget for the current fiscal.

"So far, we are comfortable with what has been
budgeted. There are no signs of stress (on government
finances) so far," she said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - 15:50

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