Interim Budget: Chidambaram proposes non-statutory agency to manage govt debt

Finance minister P Chidambaram has proposed the setting up of a non–statutory public debt management agency, thereby divesting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) of its role as the manager of public (or government) debt.

''A non–statutory Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) shall be established that can begin work in 2014-15,'' Chidambaram said, adding that the government is ready with the Public Debt Management Agency Bill.

Chidambaram, in his interim budget, also announced a number of steps to liberalise India's financial markets, so as to encourage both domestic and foreign participation and thereby deepen and expand the market.

Presenting the interim budget 2014-15, the finance minister outlined the steps to comprehensively revamp the ADR / GDR scheme and enlarge the scope of depository receipts; liberalise the rupee-denominated corporate bond market; deepen and strengthen the currency derivatives market to enable Indian companies to fully hedge against foreign currency risks; create one record for all financial assets of every individual and; enable smoother clearing and settlement for international investors looking to invest in Indian bonds.

Central assistance to states to triple
Presenting the interim budget for the 2014-15 fiscal, finance minister P Chidambaram said that centrally sponsored schemes were restructured into 66 programmes and the budget estimates of central assistance to plans of states and union territories will rise substantially from Rs136,254 crore in 2013-14 to Rs338,562 crore in 2014-15.

The finance minister informed the House that the public sector enterprises will achieve a new record in capital expenditure of Rs257,641 crore in 2013-14.