oppn parties RBI, Monetary Policy & Inflation

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  • Markets end positive after a highly volatile session on Monday: Sensex gains 169 points to 59500 and Nifty 44 points to 17648
  • Satellite images show significant increase in night lights in India with some states growing at 43% in 10 years and some even 400%. Economists consider this as indicator of growth
  • Bombay HC has ruled that there will be no parole for TADA victims in Maharashtra
  • Courts handed out the death sentence to 165 accused in 2022, the highest in 40 years
Investors lose Rs 5.6 lakh crore as Adani Group companies lose 29% market value in three days and the carnage is continuing
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RBI, Monetary Policy & Inflation

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-09-25 11:23:00

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.
In its latest policy review, the RBI expectedly maintained status quo and left key lending rates unchanged. It was expected because of two main reasons: retail inflation shot to a nine-month high in June and although the RBI has cut repo rates ( rates at which it provides short term funds to banks) by 75 basis points since January this year, the banks have passed on only 30 basis points to the end consumer. The RBI was clear in saying that further rate reduction depends on how inflation pans out and how commercial banks pass on rate reduction to consumers.

But as a belligerent government wishes to bring down interest rates despite inflationary pressure, there is little the RBI would be able to do in future if the latest revised financial code put up by the finance ministry is anything to go by. The code seeks to take away the veto power the RBI governor has in matters of setting lending rates. Even before this policy review, there were indications from the ministry that the time was ripe for another rate cut.

Although the RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has been quoted as saying that he isn’t opposed to the idea of taking away of the veto power, this clearly goes against the recommendation of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC), which had advised for the same “in exceptional circumstances.” It is also incongruous to have a body that is saddled with containing inflation but whose chief does not have a say in the amount of money that is to float in the economy.

Rajan pointed out that a committee formed to take monetary policy decisions would bring in different view-points, will reduce the pressure on one individual and would ensure continuity (as it would be reconstituted even if one member exits). But one is certain that the RBI has internal committees to take these decisions. The point is that if the RBI governor feels that inflation would be jacked up if rates are reduced or more money is injected in the economy at a particular point of time, he should have the right to refuse taking such a decision. If not, he should not be responsible for containing inflation.