MUMBAI, March 7 (Reuters) - The Indian government will transfer International Monetary Fund balances held as special drawing rights to the central bank in equal installments of 50 billion rupees ($819 million) over four years, the Reserve Bank of India said in an email response to a Reuters query.
"A decision has been taken to transfer the SDR balances held by the GOI (Government of India) to the Reserve Bank of India in a phased manner to consolidate the reserve assets and provide the RBI more flexibility in reserve management operations," the RBI said.
The balances will be transferred at the current exchange rate, the RBI said in its email.
The RBI explanation was in response to a Reuters query regarding a report in the Business Standard newspaper stating the central bank had sold SDR worth 100 billion rupees to help the government contain its fiscal deficit. (r.reuters.com/zer47v)
SDRs provide countries holding them the right to borrow funds from the IMF, and are meant to supplement the countries' official reserves. The SDR value is estimated according to exchange rates of four global currencies. (Reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhury; Editing by Rafael Nam)