Chidambaram's comments came a day after it was reported that the Reserve Bank of India will pay Rs 30,569 crore as dividend to the government for the financial year 2016-17, less than half of Rs 65,876 crore it had paid last year. Over the past two years, the RBI transferred the entire surplus generated to the government via the dividend. "Cost of demonetisation: Add another Rs 50,000 crore revealed by RBI", the Congress leader said. Such has been the effect of demonetization that in July this year, RBI Governor Urjit Patel had told a Parliamentary panel that the central bank wasn't through with the counting of the old notes that were returned.
The Reserve Bank has halved its dividend payout to the government to Rs 30,659 crore for the fiscal ended June 2017, which analysts attributed to increased printing cost of new currency notes post demonetisation, among other reasons. In the 2017-18 Union Budget, the Centre had accounted for a dividend of Rs 74,901 crore from the central bank and other nationalised banks, out of which the RBI's share would have been Rs 58,000 crore.
The RBI, however, has not provided a reason for the lower dividend transfer.
Due to increased liquidity in the system, the RBI has been borrowing money under reverse repo and paying interest which has implications on the revenue, he added.
The RBI Act stipulates that after making provisions for contingencies and corpus funds as defined therein, the balance profit of the apex bank is to be transferred to the central government. The value of scrapped notes was Rs 15.44 lakh crore, about 86 per cent of all currency. "If other conditions remain unchanged, the fiscal deficit can increase to 3.4 per cent from 3.2 per cent past year", says Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist at CARE Ratings (India).