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RBI payout to help government invest in infra: Report

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Mumbai, Aug 28 (IANS) The RBI decision to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the Central government in the current year will help strengthen its fiscal position in the backdrop of the economic slowdown, Acuite Ratings said on Wednesday.

A significantly higher net one-time inflow of Rs 1.48 lakh crore from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will provide an opportunity to the government to step up public investments without a material slippage in the fiscal deficit target pegged at 3.3 per cent for 2019-20, an Acuite report said.

Acuite Ratings expects the transfer to the government’s revenue account under the head “Interest Receipts, Dividends and Profits” to improve its fiscal position in the context of weaker tax revenues in the current fiscal vis-a-vis the projected levels.

As a result, the sub-entry of “Dividend and Profits” may reach a level of Rs 2.2 lakh crore as compared to the budget estimate of Rs 1.63 lakh crore, a windfall of Rs 60,000 crore as per Acuite Ratings estimates.

The additional flows over the budgeted figures will have a positive impact on the “revenue deficit, which may decline to Rs 4.2 lakh crore from the budget estimate of Rs 4.8 lakh crore — a decline of almost 12.5 per cent.”

“It is reasonable to expect that the incremental funds will be invested on capital expenditure, primarily in infrastructure, and provide a booster shot to ailing investment as well as the consumption cycle. In our opinion, the windfall revenues from the RBI provide the government an opportunity to pursue a path of moderate fiscal intervention while not deviating from its long-term goals with regards to fiscal discipline,” Acuite said.

“These funds are expected to find their way into the monetary system, improve system liquidity and have the potential to increase the currency in circulation from Rs 21.6 lakh crore currently, up to Rs 23 lakh crore,” it noted.

Acuite Ratings observed that a significant part of the reported transfer by the RBI pertained to the realised profits of the previous fiscal and not revaluation reserves based on notional gains.

Going forward, such transfers will be driven by a transparent and objective policy framework recommended by the Bimal Jalan Committee and implemented by the RBI, which augurs well for institutional credibility.



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