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Union Finance Ministry sets up Public Debt Management Cell for better cash management

Union Finance Ministry sets up Public Debt Management Cell for better cash management

Union Finance Ministry on 4 October constituted a Public Debt Management Cell (PDMC). The cell was created to streamline government borrowings and better cash management with the overall objective of deepening bond markets.

The Joint Secretary (Budget), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance would be the overall in-charge of the ODMC.

As an interim arrangement, the PDMC will be housed at the RBI’s Delhi office. In about two years, the PDMC will be upgraded to a statutory Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA).

Highlights of PDMC

• The interim arrangement will allow separation of debt management functions from RBI to PDMA in a gradual and seamless manner, without causing market disruptions.

• It will have only advisory functions to avoid any conflict with the statutory functions of RBI.

• It has been tasked to plan government borrowings, including market borrowings and other borrowings, like Sovereign Gold Bond issuance.

• It will also advise government on matters related to investment, capital market operations, administration of interest rates on small savings among others.

• The middle office of the Budget Division will be subsumed into PDMC with immediate effect.

The transition process from PDMC to PDMA would be implemented by a Joint Implementation Committee (JIC), which will be chaired by Joint Secretary (Budget). Other members of the JIC will be from Government and RBI.

As per the circular issued by the ministry, the JIC would operate under the supervision of the Monitoring Group on Cash and Debt Management (MGCDM) with Secretary, Economic Affairs and DG, RBI as co-chairpersons. The PDMC would be staffed by 15 debt managers from Budget Division, RBI, current Middle Office and other government units.

Background

To deepen Indian Bond market, the Finance Ministry Arun Jaitley proposed setting of a PDMA in his Budget Speech 2016-17. He said that he intend to set up a PDMA which will bring both India’s external borrowings and domestic debt under one roof.

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