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RBI Board meeting underway, focus on Jalan panel report

RBI Board meeting underway, focus on Jalan panel report

Mumbai: A meeting of the RBI Board is currently underway to consider the Bimal Jalan Committee’s recommendations on the Economic Capital Framework (ECF), or the quantum of reserves the central bank should retain, as also its dividend payment to the government, sources said.

For fiscal 2019-20, the government has estimated a dividend of Rs 90,000 crore due to it from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The Jalan Committee had submitted its report to the RBI Governor on Friday. The report, which recommends transfer of surplus reserves to the government in a staggered manner over three-five years based on a predetermined formula, may be put on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) website later for public access.

The Jalan Committee was constituted to suggest appropriate reserves that RBI should maintain and dividends it should pay to the government.

The Reserve Bank follows a July-June financial year and the dividend is usually distributed in August after annual accounts are finalised. The RBI Board meet will approve its financials for 12 months ended June.

With economy facing a slowdown in key sectors, the government is looking at RBI dividends and surplus to step up public investment and tackle funding gaps.

But any decision on capital transfers based on the panel’s proposals may not come today as the board members may need more time to study the recommendations.

The Board however, most likely will announce the normal dividend to be paid to the government for FY19 based on the surplus, sources said.

So far the extent of capital reserves to be transferred to the government based on the Jalan Committee report has been a matter of speculation.

According to BofA Merrill Lynch, the ECF is expected to peg the excess capital of the RBI at Rs 1-Rs 3 lakh crore, where Rs 1 lakh crore is from contingency reserves and Rs 2 lakh crore from revaluation reserves.

“The RBI Act doesn’t bar the RBI from transferring excess capital if any, to the fisc beyond the RBI’s annual surplus,” BofA Merrill Lynch said.

As per 2017-18 annual report of the RBI, the reserves stand at Rs 9.6 trillion.


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