The government is likely to maintain its gross borrowing target for the second half of the 2017-’18 financial year at Rs 2.08 lakh crore despite the economic slowdown, PTI reported on Thursday. The government borrows from the market to meet its yearly expenditure, and gross borrowing includes repayment of interest and loans.

The 2017-’18 budget had pegged the government’s gross borrowing at Rs 5.8 lakh crore for the financial year. The Centre had borrowed Rs 3.72 lakh crore from April to September. Thus, its target for the next six months matches the target set out in the budget.

However, the Centre has not ruled out additional borrowing, amid reports that it is considering a stimulus package of Rs 50,000 crore to boost the economy. “The major part of the borrowing would be done in the next three months and early January,” Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said after a meeting to decide the borrowing calendar. A decision on additional borrowing will be taken at the end of November or beginning of December, Garg said, according to BloombergQuint.

Jaitley asks Central Public Sector Enterprises to raise capital expenditure

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday asked Central public sector enterprises to increase their capital expenditure, PTI reported.

During a meeting to review the capital expenditure plans of these enterprises, Jaitley asked them to give “liberal dividends” to the government so that it could use the funds to improve infrastructure in the country. Heads of major public sector enterprises in sectors like petroleum, defence, power, road transport, railways, coal, mines, steel and atomic energy assured the finance minister that they would raise Rs 25,000 crore as capital expenditure.