The government is eyeing Rs 3,000 -4000 crore surplus funds lying with markets regulator Sebi as part of exercise to mop up non-tax revenue to bridge the fiscal deficit gap, a senior official has said. The government has already sought dividend of about Rs 13,000 crore from the Reserve Bank of India for 2016-17. “Sebi (the Securities and Exchange Board of India) has two kind of money. One what they earn as penalties and fine etc. That belongs to the government that they regularly deposit… The other one that they earn by way of fee and other decision. “They have run up into some surplus already. So, there is that should be kept in public account rather than banks. That is being discussed. That amount is not very large, it’s around Rs 3,000-4000 crore,” Economic Affairs Secretary SC Garg told PTI in an interview. Asked about additional surplus transfer by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Garg said, the central government has asked for remaining part lying with the central bank to be transfered during the current fiscal. “We have asked for remaining part of the surplus which is about Rs 13,000 crore. The RBI has made certain suggestions. It is being discussed with the RBI. The money should come before March 31,” he said.
In August, the RBI had paid a dividend of Rs 30,659 crore for the fiscal ended June 2017. It was less than half the Rs 65,876 crore it had paid in 2015-16. The government had budgeted for a Rs 58,000 crore dividend from the RBI in its Budget for this fiscal year. RBI’s profit was about Rs 44,000 crore, of which Rs 30,000 crore has been distributed and Rs 13,000 crore it retained towards risks and reserves. So the government has made a suggestion that the Rs 13,000 crore may also be transferred, he had said.
In the budget for 2017-18, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had pegged dividend income from the RBI, public sector banks and financial institutions at Rs 74,901 crore. However, as per the revised estimate it was substantially lowered down to Rs 54,810 crore from the earlier estimate of Rs 74,901 crore. Public sector banks still struggled to make profits because of the heavy stressed asset load on their balance sheets.