Finance Minister refutes reports on reviewing overseas sovereign bond issue

Nirmala SitharamanFinance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has dismissed the media reports on government reviewing the budget decision to borrow overseas in foreign currency.

Refuting to the reports which are making rounds in media, she said, “I am not doing any review. I have not been asked by anybody to do a review.”

In an interview to ET, when she was asked if the government would go ahead with the decision, Sitharaman said, “Well, I have announced it (in the budget).”

There have been reports that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch have expressed reservations on the decision to the government and that the prime minister’s office had asked for a review. “I am hearing it from you,” the FM said when asked about these reports.

Asked about the details of any such sovereign offer, such as the timing of the issue and the size, she said it has not been worked out. “I don’t think we have worked it out as yet,” said Sitharaman, who presented the first budget of the new government on July 5.

“The government would start raising a part of its gross borrowing program in external markets in external currencies. This will also have a beneficial impact on the demand situation for government securities in the domestic market,” Sitharaman had said in her budget speech, adding that India’s sovereign external debt to GDP was among the lowest globally, at less than 5 percent.

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