Centre revises borrowing plan for fiscal 2012

Small savings mop-up dip triggers move

Centre revises  borrowing plan for fiscal 2012

“We are increasing the gross borrowings for the second half (of the fiscal) by Rs 52,800 crore. The reason is...small savings collection has gone down...,” Economic Affairs Secretary R Gopalan told reporters here.

With this, the gross market borrowing for the full fiscal 2011-12 will rise to Rs 4.7 lakh crore, up from the budgeted Rs 4.17 lakh crore. In the previous fiscal, the gross borrowing was Rs 4.37 lakh crore.

In the first half of this fiscal (April-September), the government has borrowed Rs 2.5 lakh crore through dated securities.

Now, in the October-March period, the scheduled borrowing would be Rs 2.2 lakh crore. The net borrowings will work out to around Rs 4 lakh crore for the entire fiscal. Gopalan said the fiscal deficit target of 4.6 per cent of GDP (Rs 4.12 lakh crore) will remain intact even as the borrowings increase. “There is switch taking place from National Small Saving Funds (NSSF) into dated securities. Also we need to work to shore up the cash balance. It has nothing to do with fiscal deficit computation. The target of fiscal deficit remains unchanged.”

Gopalan said there was an increased need to go for dated securities, instead of depending on small savings, as the government had to bridge its fiscal deficit. The finance ministry also said that borrowing calendar has been programmed in such a way that there remains enough credit for the private sector. Overall, officials said, small savings have gone down because the interest rates offered by banks are higher than those offered by instruments such as the post office schemes.

Budget calculations were made with estimation of Rs 24,000 crore in NSSF, but instead the fund dipped by Rs 35,000 crore, a ministry official said. On the other hand, the government's opening balance was only about Rs 16,000 crore, as against the expectations of Rs 24,000 crore due to withdrawals by different departments in the last 15 days of March.

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