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Fiscal deficit seen at 10.3 pct in FY10: Nomura

India's combined fiscal deficit is likely to narrow slightly to 10.3 per cent of GDP,from 10.8 per cent in 2008/09,Nomura said in research note.

Written by Reuters | Mumbai |
March 17, 2009 2:13:49 pm

India’s combined fiscal deficit is likely to narrow slightly to 10.3 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product in the fiscal year starting April 1,from 10.8 per cent in 2008/09,Nomura said in research note on Tuesday.

The government’s gross market borrowing is seen at $83 billion in FY10,compared with the government’s estimate of 3.62 trillion rupees ($70.1 billion).

Funding such a large deficit would be the key challenge for the government and the onus of conducting the market borrowing in a non-disruptive manner would lie with the central bank,Sonal Varma,economist at Nomura,said in a note.

The government could consider privately placing the bonds with the central bank as an option,while issuance of shorter-term dated bonds and treasury bills to reduce risk duration for banks would also help,she added.

“At a time when banks are wary of taking additional interest rate risk on their balance sheets,the RBI may have to fill the gap by expanding its own balance sheet through deficit financing,” Varma said.

Nomura also expects the government to announce an additional 0.6 per cent of GDP of planned expenditure at its final budget in June/July.

“On the fiscal policy front,little is likely to happen until after the May elections because the election code of conduct,” Varma wrote.

Nomura expects the central bank to further reduce its key short-term interest rates by 100 basis points each in tranches of 50 bps between April and June.

“We judge that the reluctance of banks to cut rates and lend,and a heavily geared government are diluting the transmission of stimulus to the economy,” the note said.

“The bottomline is that the policy action is nearly over; policy effectiveness is now the key,” Varma wrote.

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