The Indian government has its eyes set on £300-400 million surplus funds lying with market regulator Sebi as part of an excise to mop up non-tax revenue to cover the fiscal deficit gap. Economic Affairs Secretary SC Garg said the government has already sought dividend of approximately £1.30 billion from the Reserve Bank of India for 2016-17.
Garg said, “Sebi has two kinds of money. One is what they earn as penalties and fines, etc. This belongs to the government, which they regularly deposit... The other one is they earn by way of fees and other decisions. They (government) have run up into some surplus. So, the surplus should be kept in public accounts rather than banks. This is being discussed,” Garg said. When asked about the additional surplus transfer by the apex bank, he said, “We have asked for the remaining part of the surplus, which is about £1.30 billion. The RBI has made certain suggestions. It is being discussed. The money should come before March 31.”
The RBI had paid a dividend of £3.06 billion in August, for the fiscal ended June 2017, less than half the £6.58 billion it had paid in 2015-16. The RBI's profit was approximately £4.40 billion, of which, £3 billion has been distributed and £1.30 billion was retained towards risks and reserves. So, the government has made a suggestion that £1.3 billion may also be transferred. In the Budget for 2017-18, FM Arun Jaitley had pegged dividend income from the RBI, public sector banks and financial institutions at £7.49 billion.