New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the finance ministry to reevaluate the idea of issuing foreign currency overseas sovereign bonds. The PMO has further asked the ministry to consult stakeholders before giving a nod to any plans, Reuters reported. Also Read - CAIT Announces Nationwide Movement Against New Amendments in GST and E-Commerce
No comments from the Finance Ministry and the PMO have been made available on the same so far. Also Read - Centre Lifts Embargo on Grant of Govt Businesses to Private Banks
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this month had said in her maiden budget speech that India would look to issue foreign currency overseas sovereign bonds. The idea was heavily criticised by Ex-RBI heads, economists who were of the view that this would create long-term economic risks. Also Read - 'Damads' Get Land in States Which Are Governed by Some Parties: FM Sitharaman Makes Veiled Attack at Congress in Lok Sabha | Key Points
A source told the news agency that the idea was originally pushed by outgoing finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg who while briefing the PMO on the same, did not apprise it of the consequences of overseas dollar-denominated bonds.
Further, the proposal to raise funds via overseas bonds is likely to be withdrawn amidst criticism by experts. Instead, the government is planning to raise funds through rupee-denominated bonds in the overseas market, Reuters reported. (Also Read: After Surprise Transfer From Finance Ministry, Subhash Chandra Garg Seeks Early Retirement)
Meanwhile, on July 24, Subhash Chandra Garg was abruptly transferred from the finance ministry to the power ministry. Gujarat-cadre officer Atanu Chakraborty was appointed to take charge of the Finance secretary in his place.
It was not immediately clear the reason behind Garg’s abrupt transfer. Garg has also sought early retirement and hence, moved a voluntary retirement application. However, the Centre is yet to take a call on his application.