FM: Government will not elbow out private sector from borrowing funds

Pranab Mukherjee reiterates that Centre will not overshoot its borrowing target of Rs4.17 lakh crore for the current year

New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the government will not overshoot its market borrowing target for this financial year, leaving enough credit available for the private sector.

"I am not going to expand borrowing and I will plan my borrowing in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India in a manner to ensure that the private sector is not elbowed out of the borrowing market," Mr Mukherjee told journalists after a board meeting of Nabard.

The government plans to borrow Rs4.17 lakh crore from the market this year, compared with Rs4.47 lakh crore last year, reports PTI.

Of this, the government is expected to borrow 60%, or Rs2.5 lakh crore, in the April-September period. With less scheduled government borrowing in the second half of the fiscal, sufficient credit would remain available for the private sector to borrow from market.

The net market borrowings, after making re-payments, would total Rs3.43 lakh crore in the current fiscal.

Mr Mukherjee also appeared confident that the government would be able to meet the revenue collection targets for the current fiscal. "I am not worried on the revenue front because there is revenue buoyancy and it is moving on expected lines," he said.

He said the government faced a "temporary cash flow problem" because of much higher tax refunds. "Instead of deferring the refund for the next two-three months, we made it upfront. But that does not alter the net kitty which will be available to me by the end of the year," he said.

The government expects gross tax revenues of Rs9.32 lakh crore this fiscal. As per the latest data available on the direct tax front, the gross collection in the April-June quarter was up by 23.91% at Rs1,04,136 crore.

Direct tax refunds recorded a 205.01% increase at Rs46,868 crore in the first quarter of 2011-12 as against Rs15,366 crore in the year-ago period.


Cairn Energy completes sale of 10% stake in Cairn India to Vedanta for $1.36 billion

Vedanta now has a 28.5% stake in Cairn India, while Cairn remains majority shareholder with 52.2% shareholding

UK-listed Cairn Energy today said it has completed the sale of a 10% stake in its Indian entity, Cairn India, to Vedanta Resources for $1.36 billion.

"Cairn has completed the sale of 191,920,207 Cairn India shares to Vedanta, representing 10% of the fully diluted share capital of Cairn India, for net proceeds of around $1,362 million in cash," the Edinburgh-based firm said in a regulatory filing, the Press Trust of India reported from London.

Following completion of the sale, Vedanta Group now holds an aggregate 28.5% stake in Cairn India, while Cairn still remains the majority shareholder of Cairn India with a 52.2% shareholding.

"The sale and purchase of a further 30% of the fully diluted share capital of Cairn India remains subject to the necessary consents and approvals from the government of India," Cairn Energy said.


NIIT Technologies wins contract from Eurostar

NIIT Technologies will provide infrastructure management services to Eurostar

NIIT Technologies Ltd has won a multi-million pound contract from the UK-based high-speed passenger service provider Eurostar to provide infrastructure management services for its core business applications.

"Our vast experience and established domain skills in transportation has been instrumental in our selection," NIIT Technologies Europe president, Sunil Surya, said.

Eurostar provides high-speed passenger service between the UK and mainland Europe.

"Many global businesses face challenges to reduce cost and drive efficiencies, with the aim of providing a superior customer service. We are looking forward to benefiting from NIIT Technologies' extensive experience," Christophe Lemaire, CIO, Eurostar, said.

On Tuesday, NIIT Technologies ended 0.46% up at Rs185 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 1.65% to 18,411.62.


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