QBiz: Govt-RBI Showdown; LPG Prices Hiked by Rs 2 & More

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram

The meeting of the central board of the RBI on 19 November is likely to be stormy with the government determined to take up these issues and press for a decisive outcome. The norms for sharing excess capital reserves should be set in line with established global practices, the official added. "A thorny ongoing issue on this front has been that of the rules for surplus transfer from the RBI to the government". As of June 2018, the total amount in these three types of reserves exceeded ₹9 trillion with more than ₹6.9 trillion in valuation reserves, RBI's annual accounts show.

The Act would have to be amended for the RBI to start transferring its surplus from previous years to the government, Malegam told CNBC-TV18 in an interview, as it only provides that all of the central bank's surplus in a year, after provisions, should be transferred.

The government and the RBI have been clashing on several issues including the reserves question.

Garg's tweet came in response to news reports that the government is asking the RBI to transfer a part of its reserve to maintain its fiscal deficit.

"Lot of misinformed speculation is going around in media".

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Media reports had said that the government was insisting on a payout from the central bank's reserves to tide over a tight fiscal situation ahead of state polls and general elections in 2019.

"The government stares at a fiscal-deficit crisis. There is no proposal to ask RBI to transfer ₹3.6 or 1 lakh crore, as speculated", he said. This comprises balances in Contingency Fund, Asset Development Fund (ADF), Currency and Gold Revaluation Account (CGRA), Foreign Exchange Forward Contracts Valuation Account (FCVA) and Investment Revaluation Account Rupee Securities (IRA-RS), besides some minor accounts.

Sources say that transfer of surplus reserves also figured in the Economic Survey crafted by former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, who batted for RBI transferring over Rs 4 lakh crore to the government.

A top finance ministry official on Friday put to rest speculation that the Centre was insisting on drawing a larger share of the Reserve Bank of India's reserves than the central bank is willing to part with.

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