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Government simplifies process for permission of Additional Fiscal Deficit Limit 

New Delhi: As per recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission in para 14.64, the States have the access to additional borrowing limits subject to fulfilment of conditions mentioned therein.

The fiscal deficit of all States will be anchored to an annual limit of 3 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product(GSDP). The States will be eligible for flexibility of 0.25 per cent over and above this for any given year for which the borrowing limits are to be fixed if their debt-GSDP ratio is less than or equal to 25 per cent in the preceding year.

States will be further eligible for an additional borrowing limit of 0.25 per cent of GSDP in a given year for which the borrowing limits are to be fixed if the interest payments are less than or equal to 10 per cent of the revenue receipts in the preceding year.

The flexibility in availing the additional limit under either of the two options or both will be available to a State only if there is no revenue deficit in the year in which borrowing limits are to be fixed and the immediately preceding year.

During the 4th Meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog on 17th June 2018, some States pointed-out that the permission accorded by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, to eligible States were sometimes delayed due to bunching of proposals received from different States at different intervals into one consolidated approval. 

The Union Government of India, keeping in view its policy for cooperative federalism, has henceforth decided to simplify the process of approval of such additional borrowing limits requested by States. 

It will process each proposal along with complete information independently as and when it is received in contrast to the earlier process of bunching all proposals into a single proposal.

This simplification process is in continuation of the Central Governments’ reform through simplified consent mechanism of Aug 16th, 2016 which mandated States to have their borrowing calendar for Apr-Dec (9months) as per their cash flow projections based on Government of India consent conveyed to them. It is expected that this will further enhance transparency and predictability in the borrowing calendar and boost capital expenditure in eligible States.

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