ICRA sees lower borrowing by States amid likely higher devolution of Central taxes

Tax devolution by the Central government was likely to exceed the Budget estimate by at least Rs 1.1 lakh crore in FY23. This would lead to compression in the gross borrowing by States to Rs 8.4 lakh crore, a report said on Monday. However, the borrowing cost for the States had gone up from 7.17 per cent in Q4 of FY22 to 7.34 per cent on May 2, noted an analysis by ICRA Ratings.

The Central tax devolution was likely to rise to Rs 9.3 lakh crore in FY23 from Rs 8.8 lakh crore in FY22 and from Rs 8.2 lakh crore estimated in the FY23 Budget. The FY22 devolution was higher than the revised estimate of Rs 7.4 lakh crore and 2.8 per cent lower at Rs 8.1 lakh crore, Aditi Nayar, the chief economist of ICRA Ratings said.

During the first five weeks of the first quarter of this financial year, States had borrowed 82 per cent less than what was indicated in the borrowing calendar, at just Rs 12,400 crore against Rs 67,200 crore indicated initially by 19 States, following higher-than-expected devolution in Q4 of FY22 at Rs 95,100 crore on March 24 and 31, she said.

The agency had estimated net and gross SDL (State Development Loan) issuance in FY23 at Rs 6.6 lakh crore and Rs 8.9 lakh crore, respectively last month. But taking into account the actual issuance, which is 82 per cent lower than indicated so far, it estimates that the gross issuance at Rs 8.4 lakh crore, and adjusting for the expected redemptions of Rs 2.4 lakh crore in this financial year, net issuance is likely to be Rs 6 lakh crore. 

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