No change in authorities borrowing plan

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 30

The Centre has decided not to borrow more and instead keep its borrowing for the current financial year at the earlier decided Rs 12 lakh crore.

“Revenues are looking up and we had borrowed heavily in the first half of the year. This will suffice,” Tarun Bajaj, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, said at a press interaction here on Wednesday.

However, the ways and means limit of Rs 2 lakh crore for states after May is being reduced to Rs 1.25 lakh crore in consultation with the RBI. As the Centre will end its borrowing programme by January 29, it will keep the next two months open for borrowing on behalf of states and corporates, said Bajaj.

The government had originally planned to borrow Rs 7.8 lakh crore. After Covid hit the country, it decided to raise its borrowing to Rs 12 lakh crore. Having already borrowed Rs 7.66 lakh crore, the government will borrow the remaining Rs 4.34 lakh crore in the remaining next six months and not revise its plans upwards, said Bajaj.

The borrowings were at weighted average of 5.82 per cent which is the lowest in the last 15 years.

The official said the government decided not to borrow more because of an improvement in revenues from June. Besides, the government has done some expenditure prioritisation.

“Anticipating what would happen in the coming half year, we decided to continue with the same figure of 12 lakh crore,” Bajaj observed.

This basically means the government will borrow 36.16 per cent of the revised borrowing programme in 16 weekly tranches starting from the first week of October to raise about Rs  27,000-28,000 crore per week.

With the further opening of the economy, the government expects the private sector to show more activity in the next two quarters. “We expect we should be able to carry on our activities till March 31 (with the same level of borrowing),” said Bajaj.

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