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India's forex reserves reach USD 606.859 billion: RBI Data

The increase comes amid efforts to defend the rupee against global pressures. Foreign currency assets, a significant component of the reserves, rose by USD 3.089 billion, reaching USD 536.699 billion. Gold reserves declined by USD 199 million to USD 47.13 billion

India forex reserves reach USD 606.859 billion: RBI Data
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First Published Dec 15, 2023, 7:01 PM IST

In a recent announcement, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) disclosed that India's foreign exchange reserves experienced a notable increase of USD 2.816 billion, reaching USD 606.859 billion in the week ending December 8. This follows the previous week's rise of USD 6.107 billion, bringing the total reserves to USD 604.042 billion. It's noteworthy that in October 2021, the country's forex reserves had achieved a historic high of USD 645 billion.

The surge in reserves comes as the central bank utilized the reserves to defend the rupee against pressures arising primarily from global developments since the previous year. For the week concluding on December 8, the data reveals that foreign currency assets, a crucial component of the reserves, increased by USD 3.089 billion, reaching USD 536.699 billion.

Expressed in dollar terms, foreign currency assets consider the impact of the appreciation or depreciation of non-US units, such as the euro, pound, and yen, held in the foreign exchange reserves. Gold reserves witnessed a decrease of USD 199 million, settling at USD 47.13 billion during the same week, as reported by the RBI.

Additionally, the Special Drawing Rights experienced a decline of USD 63 million, reaching USD 18.188 billion, according to the apex bank. India's reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also witnessed a decrease of USD 11 million, resting at USD 4.842 billion during the reported week.

Net Direct Tax Collection Reaches Rs 10.64 Lakh Crore in Apr-Nov

In a separate fiscal development, the Ministry of Finance disclosed that net direct tax collection for the first eight months of the current fiscal touched 58.34 per cent of the Budget Estimates (BE), amounting to Rs 10.64 lakh crore. The net tax collection for April-November represents a 23.4 per cent increase compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

Gross collections, before issuing refunds, experienced a growth of 17.7 per cent, reaching Rs 12.67 lakh crore in the April-November period. Refunds totalling Rs 2.03 lakh crore were issued during this period.

The Ministry of Finance highlighted a special initiative for cases where refunds initially failed, subsequently being issued to validated bank accounts. For the entire fiscal year, direct taxes (personal income tax and corporate tax) are expected to contribute Rs 18.23 lakh crore, while indirect taxes (GST, customs, excise) are projected to contribute Rs 15.38 lakh crore.

A senior finance ministry official indicated earlier this week that the government is likely to adhere to the budgeted estimate, maintaining a total tax collection target of Rs 33.61 lakh crore for the current fiscal in the revised estimates. Direct tax collection has increased by about 20 per cent so far, while indirect tax is higher by 5 per cent.

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