Indian five hundred rupee banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Union Budget 2018: Government Lowers Market Borrowing To Rs 4.07 Lakh Crore For FY19

The government will borrow Rs 4.07 lakh crore from the market in 2018-19, which is nearly Rs 73,000 crore lower than the current fiscal borrowing.

As per the revised estimate, net borrowing for the current fiscal was steeply raised to Rs 4.79 lakh crore as against the Budget estimate of Rs 3.5 lakh crore.

Gross borrowing has been pegged at Rs 5.99 lakh crore for 2017-18, marginally higher from Union Budget estimate of Rs 5.8 lakh crore. However, gross borrowing, which includes repayments of past loans and interests, for the next fiscal has been raised to Rs 6.05 lakh crore. Repayment for past loans for the next fiscal has been pegged at 1.4 lakh crore.

Government raises funds from the market to fund its fiscal deficit through dated securities and Treasury bills, having maturity of less than one year.

The government deviated from its fiscal deficit target of 3 percent to 3.3 percent of gross domestic product for the next fiscal, indicating pressure on the fiscal math.

Last month, the government curtailed its additional market borrowing programme by 60 percent to Rs 20,000 crore as it expects additional transfer of surplus cash from the Reserve Bank of India in the current financial year ending March 31.

The decision to lower additional borrowing, which was taken after a review of revenue receipts and expenditure, will help contain fiscal deficit that has come under stress on account of lower goods and services tax mop up.

The government in December had announced that it would make an additional borrowing of Rs 50,000 crore during 2017-18 through dated securities. However, there would have been no change in the net borrowing as envisaged in the Budget.

“As honourable members would recall, we embarked on the path of consistent fiscal reduction and consolidation in 2014,” said Jaitley. Fiscal Deficit has been brought down over the years to 4.1 percent in 2014-15, 3.9 percent in 2015-16, and 3.5 percent in 2016-17, he added.

Revised Fiscal Deficit estimates for 2017-18 are Rs 5.95 lakh crore at 3.5 percent of GDP. I am projecting a fiscal deficit of 3.3 percent of GDP for the year 2018-19.
Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister