oppn parties RBI and the State of the Economy

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
RBI and the State of the Economy

By admin

About the Author

Sunil Garodia By our team of in-house writers.
No sooner had Raghuram Rajan cut repo rates by 25 basis points did the stock market go into a downward spiral, shedding 650 points â€" its biggest fall in a month. The market had expected a 50 basis point cut. But was the fall really due to the cut not measuring up to Dalal Street expectations or did the pent up frustration of many factors found a trigger in the RBI announcement? Did the market really expect RBI to go whole hog despite negative domestic and international signals?

These questions do not lend themselves to easy answers. The markets have seen companies report bad to atrocious Q4 results leading to a depressive mood. They have seen solid companies like Tata Steel skip dividend this year. They have seen banks putting out balance sheets where staggering amounts of loans have no chance of recovery. They have seen oil prices firming up. They have seen reduction in demand for white goods. They have read about delayed and weak monsoons. So how did they expect Rajan to go along with their expectations?

What Rajan has done is to follow the middle path. In line with decreased inflation, he has already cut rates three times this year. Now, as he has said, it is upon the government to say how it will tackle a poor monsoon before further rate cuts can be decided upon. This is prudent policy. For, poor monsoons will bring rising food prices in their wake and the first priority will then be to contain inflation. Also, if some states resort to the populist measure of writing off farm loans given the drought like conditions likely to emerge, the equation will change further.

As it is, despite the rate cuts, new investments are not being made as companies are wary of the overall economic scenario. The investments already made in several big ticket projects have bogged down bank balance sheets. For all practical purposes, they are dead investments until the government becomes proactive and boots out the current promoters of such projects. It has become a recurring racket to go into big projects with inflated project cost, garner huge loans from banks, take out as much as one can through various mechanisms (like over invoicing of project inputs, raw materials etc and other subterfuges) and make the project sick. Then, ask for more loans. The government should put a stop to this once and for all.

Rate cuts will serve no purpose in the current scenario. For, it is not likely that the banks will pass on the benefit to the customers, saddled as they are with bad loans and decreasing profitability. There might be relief in high profile sectors such as housing loans, but overall lending rates, especially for industry, are likely to remain the same. There are no good quality borrowers and the banks are wary of lending to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Hence, RBI’s paring of growth estimates for the current year is also correct. A lot now depends on how the rain gods bless the parched fields.