FM to address RBI board today

FM to address RBI board today

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to address the post-budget meeting of the RBI's central board on Monday and highlight the key points of the Budget, including the fiscal consolidation roadmap.

The government has lowered the fiscal deficit target to 3.3per cent of the GDP as it is expecting net additional revenue of Rs 6,000 croreover the interim Budget estimates.

The government in the interim Budget in February hadprojected a fiscal deficit of 3.4 per cent of the GDP for the current fiscal.

The Centre also came out with a roadmap to reduce the fiscaldeficit — the gap between total expenditure and revenue — to 3 per cent ofthe gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020-21, and eliminate the primary deficit.

Primary deficit refers to the deficit left after subtractinginterest payments from the fiscal deficit.

The Finance Minister would also apprise the board of variousother announcements made in the Budget to spur growth by touching almost allsectors of the economy with the objective of achieving a USD 5 trillion economyby 2024-25, said an official.

The Budget announced further opening up of aviation,insurance and media sectors to foreign investment while throwing a lifeline tothe struggling shadow banks (NBFCs) to boost investment and lending in theeconomy.

It has also proposed measures to improve NBFCs access tofunding by providing a limited backstop for the purchase of their assets. Thegovernment will provide a partial guarantee to state banks for the acquisitionof up to Rs 1 lakh crore of highly-rated assets from non-bank financecompanies.

The Reserve Bank of India has been made regulator of housingfinance firms as well, replacing the National Housing Bank.

With regard to surplus transfer from the RBI, the Budgetenvisages Rs 90,000 crore as dividend from the central bank in the currentfiscal.

This will be 32 per cent higher from the previous fiscal,when the central bank paid Rs 68,000 crore to the government, including Rs28,000 crore as interim dividend.

This was the highest receipt from the Reserve Bank in asingle financial year, exceeding the Rs 65,896 crore received in 2015-16 and Rs40,659 crore in 2017-18.The Reserve Bank follows July-June financialyear and usually distributes the dividend in August after annual accounts arefinalised.

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