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The government plans to borrow Rs 2.08 lakh crore from the market in the second half of 2017-18, a top official said on Thursday, reiterating its commitment to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.2 per cent of GDP. To finance the fiscal deficit for the current financial year, the Budget has pegged gross borrowing at Rs 5.8 lakh crore and net borrowing at Rs 4.25 lakh crore. The government borrowed Rs 3.72 lakh crore in the first half and has pegged gross borrowings at Rs 2.08 lakh crore in the remaining six months of the financial year-ending March 31, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg told reporters after a meeting to decide the borrowing calender. The net borrowings in the October-March period of the year has been pegged at Rs 1.92 lakh crore. Amid talks of stimulus package to boost sagging economic growth, Garg said deficit targets are set in the Budget and the finance ministry will stick to them as of now. He further said that the assessment of additional borrowing requirement, if any, would be made in December. He added however that there seems to be no need for additional borrowing. Garg also informed that Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) capital expenditure of more than Rs 3.75 lakh crore is moving as per the plan. He also said that public sector bodies like NHAI would be making an additional spending of RS 25,000 crore. Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had reviewed capital expenditure with important CPSEs. Answering questions on lower dividend paid to the government by the Reserve Bank of India, Garg said discussions are on with the central bank for additional transfers. In the wake of expenditure incurred towards demonetisation, RBI had halved its dividend payout to the government to Rs 30,659 crore for the year ended June 2017.
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