The Finance Ministry on Wednesday said the government will borrow Rs 4.34 lakh crore in the second half of the current fiscal to meet its expenditure requirement amid COVID-19 crisis afflicting the country's economy. The government is sticking to Rs 12 lakh crore borrowing target for the current fiscal, Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj said.
In the first half ended September, the government has done borrowing of Rs 7.66 lakh crore and remaining Rs 4.34 lakh crore will be mobilised during the second half of the current fiscal, he said. The government had envisaged to raise 58 per cent of the total borrowing target of Rs 6.98 lakh crore from the dated securities in the first half of the current fiscal. Against this, the government has borrowed Rs 7.66 lakh crore during April-September.
Hard-pressed for funds to combat rising coronavirus infections, the government in May increased its market borrowing programme for the current financial year by more than 50 per cent to Rs 12 lakh crore. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the 2020-21 Budget had pegged the gross market borrowing which is also a reflection of fiscal deficit , for the current fiscal at Rs 7.80 lakh crore. The amount was up from Rs 7.1 lakh crore in 2019-20.
The government raises money from the market to fund its fiscal deficit through dated securities and treasury bills. The Budget has pegged fiscal deficit at 3.5 per cent for the current fiscal, down from 3.8 per cent of the GDP in the last financial year.