RBI may cough up Rs 30K cr as payout

The Finance Ministry is likely to push for Rs 25,000-30,000 crore interim dividend from RBI, for the third time in a row, to check slippages in the fiscal deficit of 3.3 per cent in 2019-20.
Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi

RBI and the Centre may touch upon the issue when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das at post Budget Vision customary meeting.

Government has a Budget estimate of Rs 90,000 cr dividend from RBI in FY20. RBI follows a fiscal of July-June. The interim dividend of the RBI’s total dividend for 2019-20 (July-June) can help the Centre check 3.3 pc fiscal deficit target slippage. In the past RBI has paid a total Rs 38,000 crore as interim dividend (Rs 28,000 crore in FY19 and Rs 10,000 crore in FY18). “If the RBI board recommends, then it will be the third time when interim payout will be given to the government,” said sources.

The central bank had paid Rs 28,000 crore as interim dividend from its 2018-19 fiscal accounts (July-June) in February, which helped the government contain deficit at 3.4 per cent in the last fiscal.

The Reserve Bank follows July-June financial year and usually distributes the dividend in August after annual accounts are finalised and interim dividends if any, they are given around February to the government.

Seeking interim dividends are not common. The Bimal Jalan-led committee on the RBI’s economic capital framework recommended in August that an interim dividend should be paid to the government only in “exceptional circumstances”.

The contention is this year has “exceptional circumstances” due to the slowdown, low revenue generation and outgo of Rs 1.45 lakh crore due to corporate tax cuts.

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