Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2017: Urjit Patel flags high debt levels, says hurting India’s sovereign ratings

By: | Updated: January 11, 2017 5:24 PM

Patel, speaking at 8th Vibrant Gujarat Summit, said that goevrnment debt to GDP is also hurting country's sovereign ratings.

urjit patel at vibrant gujarat, urijit patel vibrant gujarat summit, urijit patel vibrant gujarat, vibrant gujaratPatel’s comment comes just weeks before Finance Ministry is due to present annual budget for the financial year 2017-18.
(PTI)

Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel on Wednesday urged Government to take steps for reduction of high federal and state government borrowing. Patel’s comment comes just weeks before Finance Ministry is due to present annual budget for the financial year 2017-18.  Patel, speaking at 8th Vibrant Gujarat Summit, said that goevrnment debt to GDP is also hurting country’s sovereign ratings.

Patel, citing the International Monetary Fund data, added that India’s total fiscal deficit, which is targeted at 6.4 percent of GDP in 2016/17 when combined with  levels of the federal and state governments, is among the highest in G20 countries.   “We have to take cognisance of these comparisons and facts as we go forward to make progress. Specifically this will help us to better manage risks for ourselves and thereby mitigate financial volatility,” Patel said.

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The Prime Minister, in his December 31 speech, had unveiled a series of incentives to provide cheaper credit to the poor, farmers, women and small businesses. “While some government guarantees and limited subventions can help, steep interest rate subventions and large credit guarantees also impede optimal allocation of financial resources and increases moral hazard,” Patel said.

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Patel stressed that keeping inflation low on durable basis is “essential prerequisite” for meaningful interest rate structure to increase investments for better growth. “For us, in India, good policy housekeeping should be the cornerstone. It is easy and quick to fritter away gains regarding macroeconomic stability. But hard and slow to regain them,” he said at Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit here.

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