Mumbai: With the reins rpt reins of RBI (Reserve Bank of India) governorship passing to an ex-bureaucrat, former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian said central bank autonomy is “sacred”, which should not be compromised.
Progress on the steps taken by Governor Shaktikanta Das’ predecessor Urjit Patel to restore financial system integrity will be a key thing to assess any damage to the institution.
“What is going to be key is whether this (restoring financial system agenda) is maintained going forward. That is going to be the yardstick to measure what is happening on the bigger institutional front,” he said, speaking at the Fifth India Economic Conclave here.
“RBI has a very good reputation for very good reasons (and) maintaining the functional autonomy in decision-making and governance is absolutely sacred, we must not compromise on that,” he added.
He said under Patel, the RBI has done a “commendable” job on decisions like prompt corrective action (PCA), dealing with NBFCs and also with individual private banks. It can be noted that the weeks before Patel’s resignation, differences between the RBI and government on at least two fronts, PCA and NBFCs, were widely reported.
The government wants the RBI to liberalise the PCA framework so that more banks are able to lend liberally, while it had pitched for strong liquidity support to the NBFC sector, which was outrightly rejected by RBI.
Subramanian hinted there was a bit of “oversight” by the RBI when it comes to NBFCs and the IL&FS crisis. Meanwhile, speaking at the same event, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan also made a strong pitch for independence of financial regulators.
“These (regulators) are structures which we must strengthen, they have to stand as independent bodies to ensure our growth is healthy and stable,” he said.
Subramanian said the second agenda that was being pursued by Patel was improving on the strengths of RBI and added that this needs to continue. He reiterated that there is excess capital with the RBI, but underscored that it has to be used only for recapitalising dud-assets saddled state-run banks and that too only when they reform their functioning.
The Harvard economist warned that using the excess capital for bridging the fiscal gap would be akin to “raiding the RBI” and hoped that the soon-to-be-appointed committee to look into excess capital will address these aspects.
India one of world’s fastest growing large economies:IMF
Washington: India has been one of the fastest growing large economies in the world, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said, asserting that the country has carried out several key reforms in the last five years, but more needs to be done.
Responding to a question on India’s economic development in the last five years at a fortnightly news conference here, IMF communications director Gerry Rice Thursday said, “India has of course been one of the world’s fastest growing large economies of late, with growth averaging about seven per cent over the past five years.”
“Important reforms have been implemented and we feel more reforms are needed to sustain this high growth, including to harness the demographic dividend opportunity, which India has,” he said.
Details about the Indian economy would be revealed in the upcoming World Economic Outlook (WEO) survey report to be released by the IMF ahead of the annual spring meeting with the World Bank next month, he said.
This report would be the first under Indian American economist Gita Gopinath, who is now IMF’s chief economist.
“The WEO will go into more details. But amongst the policy priorities, we would include accelerate the cleanup of banks and corporate balance sheets, continue fiscal consolidation, both at centre and state levels, and broadly maintain the reform momentum in terms of structural reforms in factor markets, labour, land reforms and further enhancing the business climate to achieve faster and more inclusive growth,” Rice said.
Fitch cuts India GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 6.8 pc
New Delhi: Fitch Ratings on Friday cut India’s economic growth forecast for the next financial year starting April 1, to 6.8 per cent from its previous estimate of 7 per cent, on weaker than expected momentum in the economy.
“While we have cut our growth forecasts for the next fiscal year (FY20, ending in March 2020) on weaker-than-expected momentum, we still see Indian GDP growth to hold up reasonably well, at 6.8 per cent, followed by 7.1 per cent in FY21,” Fitch said in its Global Economic Outlook. Fitch Ratings cut India’s FY19 GDP growth forecast to 7.2 per cent from 7.8 per cent on December 6.
The rating agency has also cut growth forecasts for FY20 and FY21 to 7 per cent from 7.3 per cent and 7.1 per cent from 7.3 per cent, respectively. According to Fitch, the RBI has adopted a more dovish monetary policy stance and cut interest rates by 0.25 percentage at its February 2019 meeting, a move supported by steadily decelerating headline inflation.
“We have changed our rate outlook and we now expect another 25 bp cut in 2019, amid protracted below target inflation and easier global monetary conditions than previously envisaged,” it said. “On the fiscal side, the budget for FY20 plans to increase cash transfers for farmers,” it added. Fitch said, it’s benign oil price outlook and expectations of accelerating food prices in the coming months should support rural households’ income and consumption.
India’s total wireless subscribers grew to 1.18 bn in January 2019: TRAI
New Delhi: India’s total wireless subscribers grew by 0.51 percent to 1,181.97 million (1.18 bn) in January 2019, as per a report by telecom regularor TRAI.
Total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & LTE) increased from 1,176.00 million at the end of December 2018 to 1,181.97 million at the end of January 2019, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.51 percent, the TRAI report said.
As on January 31, 2019, the private access service providers held 89.95 percent market share of the wireless subscribers whereas BSNL and MTNL, the two PSU access service providers, had a market share of only 10.05%, the regulator said in its report.
The Wireless subscription in urban areas increased from 647.52 million at the end of December 2018 to 654.20 million at the end of January 2019, however wireless subscriptions in rural areas declined from 528.48 million to 527.77 million during the month.
The monthly growth rates of urban wireless subscription was1.03 percent and rural wireless subscription was 0.13%, the report said
The Wireless Tele-density in India increased from 89.78 at the end of December 2018 to 90.15 at the end of January 2019.
The Urban Wireless Tele-density increased from 155.48 at the end of December 2018 to 156.85 at the end of January 2019, however Rural Wireless Tele-density declined from 59.15 to 59.04 during the same period.
The share of urban and rural wireless subscribers in total number of wireless subscribers was 55.35 percent and 44.65 percent respectively at the end of January 2019.
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