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Govt Denies Seeking Rs 3.6 Lakh Crore from RBI, Chidambaram Questions Intent Behind ‘Jargon’


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“Lot of misinformed speculation is going around in media. Government’s fiscal math is completely on track. There is no proposal to ask RBI to transfer Rs 3.6 or 1 lakh crore, as speculated,” Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg tweeted.

Govt Denies Seeking Rs 3.6 Lakh Crore from RBI, Chidambaram Questions Intent Behind 'Jargon
File photo of RBI headquarters in Mumbai. (Reuters)

New Delhi: The government on Friday said it is not seeking Rs 3.6 lakh crore capital from the Reserve Bank but is only in discussion for fixing appropriate economic capital framework of the central bank.

“Lot of misinformed speculation is going around in media. Government’s fiscal math is completely on track. There is no proposal to ask RBI to transfer Rs 3.6 or 1 lakh crore, as speculated,” Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg tweeted.

He said the only proposal “under discussion is to fix appropriate economic capital framework of RBI.”

Exuding confidence about government’s fiscal math, he said, it will stick to the fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent for the current financial year ending March 31, 2019.

“Government’s FD (fiscal deficit) in FY 2013-14 was 5.1%. From 2014-15 onwards, Government has succeeded in bringing it down substantially. We will end the FY 2018-19 with FD of 3.3%. Government has actually foregone 70,000 crore of budgeted market borrowing this year,” he said.

The statement invited sharp criticism from Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram, who had on Thursday accused the Narendra Modi government of trying to “capture” the Reserve Bank of India to tide over its fiscal crisis.

“What is this jargon put out by the government about “fix the economic capital framework of the RBI?” Chidambaram tweeted.

Economic capital framework refers to the funds set aside by the RBI required to deal with different kinds of financial risks such as an economic meltdown.

“The government stares at a fiscal deficit crisis… The government wants to step up the expenditure in an election year. Finding all avenues closed, in desperation, the government has demanded Rs 1 lakh crore from the reserves of RBI,” the former finance minister had said at a press conference on Thursday.

If RBI Governor Urjit Patel stands his ground, the Centre was planning to issue a direction under Section 7 of the RBI Act, 1934, directing the apex bank to transfer Rs 1 lakh crore to the government’s account, he had claimed.

“The day of reckoning is November 19 when the RBI board is scheduled to meet. The government has packed the RBI board with its handpicked nominees and is making every attempt to ram through its proposal at the meeting,” Chidambaram said.

“If the RBI either defies the government or RBI governor resigns, in either events, the consequence will be catastrophic,” he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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