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Government pegs borrowing at Rs 7.24 lakh crore in April-September

New Delhi: The government will stick to its borrowing target announced in the Union Budget 2021-22 and will borrow Rs 7.24 lakh crore or 60 per cent of the full-year target in the first half of financial year 2021-22. According to the Budget, the government’s gross borrowing was estimated at Rs 12.05 lakh crore in the financial year starting April 1.

“In the Budget, we had announced that there would be a gross borrowing of Rs 12.05 lakh crore and net borrowing of Rs 9.37 lakh crore. In the first half of 2021-22, we would be borrowing Rs 7.24 lakh crore,” said Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj.

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, the government borrowed a record Rs 13.71 lakh crore, or 76 per cent more than it had budgeted for, mainly to meet resources to perk up the economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the finance ministry cancelled a central government bond auction worth Rs 20,000 crore scheduled for 26 March which was to be the last of the financial year due to better revenue receipts. Gross borrowing includes repayments of past loans. Repayment for past loans in the next financial year has been pegged at Rs 2.8 lakh crore.

“The gross borrowing from the market for the next year would be around Rs 12 lakh crore. We plan to continue with our path of fiscal consolidation, and intend to reach a fiscal deficit level below 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2025-26 with a fairly steady decline over the period,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said while presenting the Budget.

The central government’s fiscal deficit at the end of February worked out to be 76 per cent of the revised estimate. The deficit stood at Rs 14.05 lakh crore.