RBI may pay 40K cr as dividend to Centre

Last Updated 08 January 2019, 09:21 IST

The Centre may get an interim dividend of Rs 40,000 crore from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before March 31 this year, with Governor Shaktikanta Das saying the central bank will not delay the payment once the decision is made.

He, however, told reporters that no decision has been taken yet on the interim dividend.

The RBI had earlier announced that it would pay to the government Rs 50,000 crore in its financial year (July-June). The central bank has already given to the government Rs 10,000 crore.

The balance is, however, expected to be paid much ahead of the RBI'S financial year comes to a close. This will help the government tied over its fiscal deficit, which may go awry in an election year, should it decide on a large scale give away on farm loan front.

RBI generally pays out its dividend to the government in the month of June but last year too it had paid before March 31.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, however, has said that the Centre does not need RBI's surplus to bridge its fiscal deficit as its revenues on direct tax side are expected to overshoot this year and will make up for the shortfall on the indirect tax side.

“This government has the best track record than any other previous government in managing fiscal deficit. We do not need RBI reserves to manage the fiscal deficit... It is a priority of the government to maintain fiscal discipline," Jaitley had said in the Lok Sabha.

The Budgeted target for fiscal deficit is 3.3% of the GDP in 2018-19. The country's fiscal deficit touched 114.8% of the full-year target of Rs 6.24 lakh crore at the end of November, according to the latest government data. But, even last year, during the same period, the fiscal deficit had touched over 112%.

The fiscal deficit, or gap between expenditure and revenue, stood at Rs 7.16 lakh crore during April-November of the current financial year, reflecting deterioration in public finances.

The direct tax collection numbers released by the income tax department on Monday showed an over 14% increase year-on-year. The direct tax revenues came at Rs 8.74 lakh crore in April-December period against the Budget target of Rs 11.5 lakh crore in 2018-19. Sources said direct tax mop-up could be Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 crore higher than the Budget target this year.

(Published 07 January 2019, 08:15 IST)

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