Government’s total liabilities rise to Rs 84.68L crore

Chennai: Government’s total liabilities reached Rs 84.68 lakh crore at the end of March, up 1.5 per cent over the preceding quarter, a report released by the Finance Ministry, said.

The total liabilities stood at Rs 83.40 lakh crore crore at end-December 2018.

“The total liabilities (including liabilities under the ‘Public Account’) of the Government, as per provisional data, increased to Rs 84,68,086 crore at end-March from Rs 83,40,027 crore at end-December 2018,” the report said.

Public debt accounted for 89.5 per cent of the total outstanding liabilities at March-end. Nearly 28.27 per cent of the outstanding dated securities had a residual maturity of less than five years.

“The holding pattern indicates a share of 40.5 per cent for commercial banks and 24.6 per cent for insurance companies by end-December 2018,” the quarterly report on ‘Public Debt Management’ said.

During the March quarter of last fiscal, the Central government issued dated securities worth Rs 1.56 lakh crore as against Rs 67,000 crore in the year-ago period. The temporary cash flow mismatches were bridged through issuance of cash management bills amounting to Rs 60,000 crore during January-March quarter of 2018-19.

Market liquidity conditions, on an average basis, were mostly in a deficit mode during January-March, the report said.

The net average liquidity injection by the Reserve Bank under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) was at Rs 52,364 crore during the fourth quarter of the last fiscal (Rs 80,077.24 crore during third quarter of 2018-19).

The net average liquidity injection was to the tune of Rs 32,872 crore in January 2019, Rs 68,661 crore in February and Rs 55,559 crore in March.

It must be noted that during the previous term, total liabilities under the Narendra Modi-led government increased 49 per cent to Rs 82 lakh crore as per the 8th Edition of the Status Paper on Government Debt, release in January.

Compared to the data available till September 2018, when the total debt of the Central government stood at Rs 82,03,253 crore, the corresponding amount till June 2014 was Rs 54,90,763 crore, the Finance Ministry’s data on government borrowings show.

The huge surge in government’s debt has been propelled by 51.7 per cent growth in public debt from Rs 48 lakh crore to Rs 73 lakh crore in the four-and-half year period, which in turn was driven by 54 per cent rise in internal debt to about Rs 68 lakh crore.

Dependence on market loans show a similar rise of 47.5 per cent to more than Rs 52 lakh crore during the period.

While debt raised through gold bonds was nil at the end of June 2014, it stood at Rs 9,089 crore including the gold monetisation scheme.

The fiscal deficit in the first eight months of the previous financial year stood at Rs 7.17 lakh crore, or 114.8 per cent of the Rs 6.24 lakh crore full year’s target.

NT Bureau