The text of the Union
Finance Minister Shri P.Chidambaram’s Statement about Current Account
Deficit (CAD) is as follows:
I have spoken about the Current Account Deficit (CAD) on a number of
occasions. The Current Account Deficit, for the first half of the
current year (2012-13) stood at US$ 38.7 billion or 4.6% of GDP.
The main contributors to the CAD were
• Exports recorded a sharp decline of 7.4%, while imports recorded a
smaller decline of 4.3% leading to widening of the trade deficit. Of the
imports, gold imports amounted to US$ 20.25 billion.
• This was partly made up by an increase in services exports of 4.2%
and, consequently, surplus in services which amounted to US$ 29.6
• Remittances of US$ 32.9 billion.
Notwithstanding the widening of the CAD, the positive aspect is that the
CAD was financed without drawing on reserves. This was mainly due to
adequate inflow of FDI (US$ 12.8 billion) and FII (US$ 6.2 billion). In
addition, external commercial borrowing amounted to US$ 1.7 billion. The
net result is that we have not drawn on the foreign exchange reserves
and, in fact, there is a marginal accretion of US$ 0.4 billion to the
foreign exchange reserves.
As would be evident, gold imports constituted a substantial chunk of the
imports and is a huge drain on the Current Account. Suppose gold imports
had been one half of the actual level, that would have meant that our
foreign exchange reserves would have increased by US$ 10.5 billion. I
would therefore appeal to the people to moderate the demand for gold
which leads to large imports of gold. I may add that we may be left with
no choice but to make it a little more expensive to import gold. This
matter is under Government’s consideration.
While the CAD is indeed worrying, I think it is within our capacity to
finance the CAD, thanks to FDI, FII and ECB. I would like to once again
underscore the crucial importance of FDI and FII. As I have said before,
attracting foreign funds to India has become an economic imperative.
I am confident that even if the year ends with a slightly larger CAD
than last year, we would be able to finance the Current Account Deficit
without drawing upon reserves.