RBI may postpone debt switch plan to next fiscal: Khan

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In order to maintain stability in debt market the Reserve Bank may postpone its Rs 50,000 crore debt-switch programme to next fiscal, RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan said.

"Discussions are going on. It (debt switch not happening this year) is one possibility. There is probability that we may not do it. But who said we will not totally do it. This is one of the possibility that it may not happen this year but we are working on it," he said here.

Under the debt switch plan of Rs 50,000 crore stated in the Budget 2013-14, the government announced a plan to buy short-dated debt, and in turn sell longer-dated bonds. This is aimed at spreading out redemptions of debt to later years.

"Whatever it is, we are working on it (debt switch) in a non-disruptive manner. If there are problems, then we may not do it (in fourth quarter of 2013-14 fiscal). But, it is very much on cards," Khan said on the sidelines of an event organised by National Housing Bank (NHB) here.

Asked if private placement is an option, he said, nothing is ruled out.

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan too had recently said that debt switches will be conducted in a non-disruptive manner.

Speaking at the NHB event, Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said housing as we all know is considered as the engine of growth for the economy particularly on account of its multiple linkages with the rest of economy.

"Investments in housing are known to trigger growth impulses across the entire economy, which have significant impact on income, employment and GDP," Meena said.

Housing shortages coupled with urban poverty are serious constraints to inclusive growth and need attention, the minister said after releasing the 'Report on Trend and Progress of Housing in India'.

Urban growth across the world is projected to double from 3.3 billion in 2007 to 6.4 billion in 2050, he said, adding that much of this growth will take place in developing countries.

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