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Government may receive first tranche of RBI surplus this calendar

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Government may receive first tranche of RBI surplus this calendar
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New Delhi: The Finance Ministry is likely to receive the first tranche of the RBI's surplus money towards December after its central board discusses and approves the report finalised by the Bimal Jalan panel.

The six-member panel led by former RBI Governor Jalan, constituted to assess the adequate size of capital reserves that the RBI should hold, has finalised the report which is likely to be submitted to the RBI central board meeting later this month for discussion and approval.

Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty is the government director on the RBI Central Board.

The government is hopeful of receiving the first tranche of the RBI surplus in this calendar year, said a source.

The Central Board of the RBI, once the report is submitted, will discuss and may approve it in the meeting scheduled this month or may do so in the next meeting and once the report is approved, the board can deliberate and finalise on the exact amount of transfer.

The Board is required to meet normally once every month.

With the economy facing a slowdown in key sectors - auto, real estate, FMCG where the growth has fallen in the last six months as rural consumption and demand declined, the government will be looking at any revenue source to step up public investment.

To make matters worse, direct tax collections have grown only by 9.7 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, against the Budget projection of 18.6 per cent over the actual figures of 2018-19.

Growth in GST collection till July, too, has been only 9 per cent as against 18 per cent estimated in the Union Budget. Both are expected to stay flat unless the economy gathers steam.

The Board could also take up the dividend payout to the government in the meeting next week. The Reserve Bank follows the July-June financial year and usually distributes the dividend in August after the annual accounts are finalised.

The government has estimated about Rs 90,000 crore as dividend from the RBI, former finance secretary Garg had said in the post Budget meeting. This is a 32 per cent jump from the previous fiscal of Rs 68,000 crore. The dividend was Rs 65,896 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 40,659 crore in 2017-18.

The Centre has targeted over Rs 1 lakh crore from the Reserve Bank of India and public sector banks (PSBs) as dividend and surplus in 2019-20. The Budget has pegged the dividend and surplus of the RBI, nationalised banks and financial institutions at Rs 1,06,041.56 up from Rs 74,140.37 crore realised in the previous fiscal. It has set a fiscal deficit of 3.3 per cent in this fiscal year.

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