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Financial News: RBI's Das Says Meeting FY21 Fiscal Deficit Target

RBI's Das Says Meeting FY21 Fiscal Deficit Target 'Very Challenging'

04/27/2020 - 11:54:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - India will find it "very challenging" to meet its fiscal deficit target for the financial year ending March 31, 2021, and the central bank has given a view on the monetization of the same, the Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said in an interview.

Going beyond the 3.5 percent of GDP target for fiscal deficit this year is "unavoidable" due to government measures to battle the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic, Das said in an interview to the news agency Cogenics. The interview, the first since the country went into lockdown on March 24, was published on Monday. Regarding the widespread suggestion that the deficit must be monetized, Das said,"There is an animated public discourse around this subject." The central bank has not taken a view regarding this and is also evaluating alternative sources to fund the deficit, the RBI chief said. "We will deal with it keeping in view the operational realities, the need to preserve the strength of the RBI's balance sheet, and most importantly, the goal of macroeconomic stability, our primary mandate," Das said. In order to ensure liquidity in the market amid the crisis caused by Covid-19 and lower oil prices, the RBI had cut the reverse repo rate by a cumulative 115 points within nearly three weeks. Das cautioned markets by asserting that the repo rate is the single policy rate that conveys the stance of monetary policy.

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