Allaying fiscal concerns, the Finance Ministry today said macro-economic parameters continue to be “very sound” and it may even reduce its borrowing target for the second half of 2018-19. The government will be borrowing a total of Rs 2.88 lakh crore in the April-September period of current fiscal, which is 47.56 per cent of the budgeted gross borrowing. The budgeted gross borrowing through G-Securities for the entire fiscal 2018-19 is Rs 6.05 lakh crore which would be used to fund the fiscal deficit of 3.3 per cent of the GDP. “We also have space of reducing our buyback (of government securities) programme further, which might lead to reduction in borrowing programme in H2 (second half) rather than increasing it,” Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg told reporters here.
The government has noticed that the demand for shorter term bonds has not been as anticipated, and it will watch for one or two more weeks and tweak the composition of bonds if needed according to the demand, he added. Garg further said that the fiscal deficit programme has been going on very smoothly and there has been “no reason for us to believe” that there will be any greater impact on increasing oil prices in the international market. “The growth parameters are also very sound, macro economic parameters also continue to be very sound, the inflation is within the range. “So on the macro-economic front the economy continues to do well and we have no downward revision on growth or upward revision on fiscal deficit,” the secretary said.
To a question related to cryptocurrencies, Garg said the committee headed by him would be submitting its report soon. “…it (cyrptocurrencies) is evolving, it is changing so fast that we are trying to cope up with it. I think we are coming close to consideration what this committee should be recommending. “So we will be convening the meeting of that committee very soon. Then we will take a view. The committee will finalise its report soon,” he said. In December last year, the government had constituted a committee headed by the Secretary to study the impact of cryptocurrencies and to make recommendations to regulate them. Other members of the panel include Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi and RBI deputy governor B P Kanungo.