Piyush Goyal for print­ing cur­rency to fi­nance deficit

Millennium Post - - Mp Business -

NEW DELHI: Not­ing that fi­nance min­is­ters all over the world are peren­ni­ally in search of rev­enue to bal­ance govern­ment bud­gets, act­ing Fi­nance Min­is­ter Piyush Goyal on Sun­day favoured print­ing cur­rency as a way of deficit fi­nanc­ing, cit­ing the ex­am­ple of the US.

Goyal's re­marks fol­low his pre­sen­ta­tion of the in­terim Bud­get 2019-20 ear­lier this month, which con­tained ma­jor largesse for the stressed agri­cul­ture sec­tor as well as tax sops for the mid­dle class with im­pli­ca­tions for the fis­cal deficit.

The fis­cal deficit es­ti­mate for the cur­rent year has been re­vised up­wards to 3.4 per cent of the gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP).

"As fi­nance min­is­ters we are al­ways in need of money," Goyal said ad­dress­ing the foun­da­tion day an­niver­sary event of the state-run Se­cu­rity Print­ing and Mint­ing Corporation of In­dia (SPMCIL), and re­called that the Fis­cal Re­spon­si­bil­ity and Bud­get Man­age­ment Act (FRBM), 2003, had been en­acted dur­ing the Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee-led NDA govern­ment.

The FRBM Act aims to in­sti­tu­tion­alise fi­nan­cial dis­ci­pline, re­duce In­dia's fis­cal deficit, im­prove macroe­co­nomic man­age­ment and the over­all man­age­ment of the pub­lic funds through a bal­anced bud­get.

"I have heard that the US does deficit fi­nanc­ing only by print­ing cur­rency," Goyal said.

He told the gath­er­ing in jest that as Fi­nance Min­is­ter he would have been hap­pier if he had known of SPMCIL'S re­cent cred­itable per­for­mance on both the pro­duc­tion and profit fronts.

SPMCIL, which sup­plies bank notes, coins and se­cu­rity doc­u­ments to the cen­tral govern­ment and the states, posted a net profit of Rs 630 crore last year, of which Rs 200 crore has been handed over to the govern­ment as div­i­dend.

Ac­cord­ing to se­nior of­fi­cials, the com­pany is on course to print 10,000 mil­lion pieces by the end of the cur­rent fis­cal end­ing March.

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