Can’t opt for high inflation to promote growth: RBI

RBI has clarified that it could not espouse a policy of tolerating higher inflation in order to promote growth because such a stance would not yield the desired results. RBI cited a study which, although, gave empirical evidence that lower real interest rates could stimulate growth and investment, it didn’t recommend a policy of higher inflation tolerance as the means to lower real rates. The study was conducted in the backdrop of criticism that the RBI was adopting an anti-inflationary monetary policy stance to the impediment of growth.

As per the study, the incremental capital output ratio has increased in recent quarters and correspondingly, the implicit marginal productivity of investment has also declined. As a result, lower levels of real interest rate would have also contributed to the slowdown in growth.

Why RBI can’t adopt a policy which tolerates high inflation?
  • The negative impact of inflation on growth outweighs its positive impact if real rates are lowered beyond a threshold.
  • Tolerating higher inflation with growth supportive monetary policy response is unlikely to stimulate growth to the desired extent since the adverse impact of higher inflation on growth would more than offset the favorable impact of growth supportive monetary policy.
  • The adverse growth impact of high inflation was seen to operate primarily through compression of consumption demand since investment demand is more sensitive to lower real rates than higher inflation.
What is real interest rate?

 The real interest rate is the rate of interest an investor expects to receive after allowing for inflation. It can be described more formally by the Fisher equation, which states that the real interest rate is approximately the nominal interest rate minus the inflation rate. If, for example, an investor were able to lock in a 5% interest rate for the coming year and anticipated a 2% rise in prices, he would expect to earn a real interest rate of 3%.

Month: Categories: Banking Current Affairs 2018Business & Economy Current Affairs 2018India Current Affairs 2018

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RBI to auction Cash Management Bills (CMBs) to control liquidity

Taking further measures to control the liquidity in order to boost the position of rupee which has been on a decline for past some time, the RBI has decided to auction short-term Cash Management Bills (CMBs) for an amount of Rs. 22,000 crore every Monday. RBI will be selling Rs.11,000 crore each in two CMBs maturing in 35 and 34 days on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. The bills will mature on 17 September, 2013, when banking system liquidity gets strained on account of advance tax outflow. The auctions will be conducted using “Multiple Price Auction” method and the Cash Management Bills will have the generic character of Treasury Bills.

What are Cash Management Bills?

CMBs are short-term paper with the flexibility of fixing tenure according to the requirement of the government. The basic difference between a treasury bill and a CMB is that the former has fixed tenure of 30, 91, 182 and 364 days, while a CMB can be anything between seven days and one year. CMBs can be structured in such a way that they are redeemed at that time to infuse liquidity but treasury bills do not offer that flexibility.

Why the RBI is auctioning CMBs (Cash Management Bills)?

Past few months have brought some serious depreciation in the value of rupee against the dollar with rupee crossing the 6o mark versus dollar. The country is also facing the problem of inflation. RBI has been taking liquidity tightening  measures to curb the instability of the currency. As part of its liquidity tightening measures, on 15 July, RBI said banks can borrow up to Rs.75,000 crore of money from it at 7.25%. Any excess of it shall be borrowed at a special rate called Marginal Standing Facility (MSF), which it raised to 10.25% from 8.25%.

However, the rupee continued to fall and RBI, on July 23, further restricted this liquidity to 0.5% of a bank’s own demand base. This effectively halved the money a bank can borrow from RBI to Rs.37,500 crore. It also directed banks to keep 99% of their cash reserve ratio, or the portion of deposit that banks need to keep with RBI on a daily basis. 

The central bank has clarified that it gives priority to contain rupee-volatility and it chooses to curb inflation over growth. The latest measure of auctioning CMBs is aimed at absorbing the excess liquidity from the economy even as demand for such short-term bills is high. This is expected to bring some positive effect in terms of improving the position of Rupee as well as some impact on inflation.

Month: Categories: Banking Current Affairs 2018India Current Affairs 2018

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