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India govt cuts its 2022/23 planned borrowing marginally

FILE PHOTO: Illustration photo of an India Rupee note

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -The Indian government cut its 2022/23 planned borrowing marginally despite higher spending on food and fertiliser due to the Ukraine crisis, partly helped by buoyant tax collections.

The government cut its 2022/23 gross borrowing plan to 14.21 trillion rupees ($173.91 billion) from 14.31 trillion rupees, it said in a statement on Thursday.

The government plans to borrow 5.92 trillion rupees in October-March period, compared with 8.29 trillion rupees of borrowing in the first half of the fiscal year that will end on September 30.

The government said the October-March borrowing will be done through 2, 5, 7, 10, 14, 30 and 40 years tenure bonds.

The government cut the full year borrowing as it expects current trends of tax collections will help it surpass the budgeted projections by the end of the fiscal year.

In the last few months India's direct and indirect tax collection have grown nearly 30% on year.

The cut was undertaken despite additional expenses.

On Wednesday, India extended the world's biggest free food programme by another three months that will cost $5.46 billion more, adding to fiscal worries weighed down by inflation-fighting expenses of over $20 billion.

The government plans to borrow between 260 billion rupees to 300 billion a week in the second half of the fiscal. The government also plans to issue 160 billion rupees of green bonds, for the first time, to fund clean projects.

In the quarter ending December the government plans to raise 2.86 trillion rupees via treasure bills, the statement said.

($1 = 81.6760 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Aftab AhmedEditing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Angus MacSwan)