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Ashok Kotwal
The challenge of job creation
Posted on: 15 Dec 2017
The process of economic transformation that entails labour transitioning from low- to high ... read on »
GST Explainer: Introduction
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017
Seventeen years after its framework was formed, India’s biggest tax reform – the goods and ... read on »
Introducing a new feature: ‘Explainers’
Posted on: 16 Oct 2017
Our day-to-day lives are tossed around due to economic changes, resulting sometimes from g ... read on »
On demonetisation
Posted on: 23 Dec 2016
On the evening of 8 November, the Prime Minister announced on national television that Rs. ... read on »

Tag: RBI

Inflation targeting: Should RBI revisit its inflation anchor?
Renu Kohli
Posted on: 09 Oct 2017

Ever since the RBI switched to flexible inflation targeting with headline Consumer Price Index as the inflation anchor, inflation has witnessed a dramatic collapse. In this article, Renu Kohli contends that volatile food prices have exposed the risks inherent in targeting headline CPI inflation.
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Are grain procurement shocks inflationary?
Chetan Ghate , Sargam Gupta , Debdulal Mallick
Posted on: 17 Oct 2016

Central banks in emerging markets grapple with understanding the inflationary impact of grain procurement shocks because the precise link between the agriculture sector and the rest of the economy may not be well understood. This column presents a framework to understand how the government’s grain procurement policy in India can be inflationary, and what the appropriate monetary policy response should be.
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The tussle between RBI and Ministry of Finance: A different dimension
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 18 Aug 2016

The popular belief about the tussle between RBI and the Ministry of Finance is that it is an issue of the trade-off between inflation and economic growth, with the former more focussed on controlling high inflation and the latter emphasising high growth. However, according to Gurbachan Singh, there is a different dimension to the story; the Ministry doesn’t fully appreciate that RBI cannot ignore market forces while making announcements about interest rates.
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Inflation targeting: A long way to go
Rajeswari Sengupta
Posted on: 18 Jul 2016

The Finance Bill, 2016, amended the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act, 1934, to define inflation targeting as the primary objective of the central bank. In this article, Rajeswari Sengupta, Assistant Professor at IGIDR, contends that to actually become an inflation-targeting central bank, RBI will need to undertake a series of reforms to build institutional capabilities and improve the monetary policy transmission mechanism.
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Recapitalising public sector banks by disinvesting in RBI: Right and wrong
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 09 May 2016

The Economic Survey 2015-16 put forth the argument that the Government of India could reduce its capital in the RBI from its current large level and use it to increase its capital in public sector banks, which face a capital shortage. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has stated that this argument is not valid. In this article, Prof. Gurbachan Singh contends that while the argument does not hold in general, it does so for all practical purposes under the present conditions.
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Fiscal deficit and growth slowdown
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 17 Feb 2016

Ahead of the Union Budget, several policymakers and economists in India have advocated increasing public spending to spur economic growth. In this article, Gurbachan Singh argues that even if India is facing a slowdown, a larger fiscal deficit is not the solution – more so now that RBI and the government have adopted inflation targeting. The prospect of a fiscal crisis may be farfetched but India may be incurring costs differently.
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India’s Monetary Policy Committee: Formation blues
Amartya Lahiri
Posted on: 10 Aug 2015

The government and RBI are in the process of finalising the structure of India’s Monetary Policy Committee. In this article, Amartya Lahiri, Professor of Economics at the University of British Columbia, makes recommendations for the composition of the committee that would help preserve the independence of the RBI in monetary policy oversight and conduct in form and spirit.
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How interest rates affect financial decisions of Indian households
Nikhil Gupta
Posted on: 17 Jul 2015

RBI has cut interest rates three times this year so far. While rate cuts are welcomed by the Indian corporate sector, their impact on households is less discussed. This column analyses the relationship between deposit rates and financial decisions of households. It finds that lower rates reduce net financial savings of households, which in turn reduces the resource pool available to the corporate sector.
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Reining in gold imports
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 12 Jun 2015
Tags:   imports , RBI


In an attempt to reduce gold imports, the Indian government has proposed three new schemes – gold monetisation, sovereign gold bonds, and domestic production of branded gold coins. In this article, Prof. Gurbachan Singh diagnoses the market failure and government failure involved in large gold imports, and provides a broad perspective on the issue. He examines the potential effectiveness of the schemes, and suggests policy alternatives.
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The nuances of inflation targeting in India
Abhijit Sen Gupta , Rajeswari Sengupta
Posted on: 16 Mar 2015

How prepared is India for inflation targeting? This column suggests that the larger weight assigned by the RBI to tackling inflation over the years, relative to other policy objectives such as stabilising exchange rates, places it in a good position to make the transition to the new regime. However, limited control over supply shocks that impact inflation might continue to pose a challenge. Greater coordination between fiscal and monetary policy would improve the efficacy of inflation targeting.
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Evaluating the risks of inflation targeting in India
Renu Kohli
Posted on: 03 Mar 2015

The adoption of flexible inflation targeting by the Indian government and RBI is a landmark change in the country’s monetary policy. In this article, Renu Kohli - a macroeconomic policy specialist - discusses the risks associated with the move. She reasons that the national and global macroeconomic environment and the timing of transition to the new regime are crucial to its success.
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Targeting nominal GDP
Pranjul Bhandari , Jeffrey Frankel
Posted on: 08 Jan 2015

Central banks, especially in developing countries, still seek transparent and credible communication. Yet signalling intentions in the conduct of monetary policy sometimes creates undesirable constraints. This column argues that it may be better to phrase central bank pronouncements in terms of nominal GDP, rather than in terms of inflation. If it is worth communicating a plan, it is worth choosing a plan that one can live with.
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Should India embrace inflation targeting?
Iyanatul Islam
Posted on: 12 Dec 2014

The Urjit Patel Committee recommended the formal adoption of an inflation targeting regime for India. In this article, Iyanatul Islam compares the views of the current RBI Governor with those of his predecessor on controlling inflation. He concludes that, at this stage, the incremental gains for the RBI from fully embracing inflation targeting are likely to be rather modest.
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Revisiting Indian inflation
Kirti Gupta , Fahad Siddiqui
Posted on: 10 Oct 2014

Persistently high inflation is a key challenge facing India today. This column analyses long-term trends in Indian inflation and causal factors. It also discusses the current thinking of the RBI on revising and strengthening India’s monetary policy framework.
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Inflation targeting in India: Right and wrong
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 31 Jan 2014

An RBI-appointed Expert Committee has recommended targeting a 4% inflation rate, but allowing it to vary between 2% and 6%. This column takes a different position on the target and leeway. It argues that achieving truly low and stable inflation alongside macroeconomic stability is not as difficult as is usually made out to be, if the right policies are in place.
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The Reserve Bank´s mission impossible?
Arvind Subramanian
Posted on: 29 Nov 2013

India’s current inflation is unprecedentedly high – not in absolute terms but relative to the rest of the world. This article discusses the role of inflation in the recent currency crisis, and argues that taming inflation may prove difficult because the social consensus in favour of moderate inflation appears to have eroded.
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What saved the rupee?
Arvind Subramanian
Posted on: 06 Nov 2013

This article analyses the dramatic fall of the rupee between May and August this year, and its recovery thereafter. It asserts that it was primarily external factors and an unconventional intervention by the Reserve Bank of India that influenced the evolution of the rupee during the period.
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A right time for inflation-indexed bonds?
Viral Acharya , Gangadhar Darbha
Posted on: 07 Jun 2013

While the introduction of inflation-indexed bonds in India has been hailed by many as a step in the right direction, this column argues that their success will depend on how serious the government is about taming inflation. These bonds will help the government reduce its debt only if they are accompanied by anti-inflationary monetary and fiscal policies.
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The market for inflation-indexed bonds
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 31 May 2013

On 15 May 2013, the Reserve Bank of India announced that it would begin monthly issues of inflation-indexed bonds starting June 2013. These bonds, wherein in the principal amount adjusts according to changes in the price level, are already in use in the developed world and their introduction in India is a welcome development. However, they are likely to have different implications for India given the presence of the Statutory Liquidity Ratio regulation in the country.
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The challenges of opening up India’s capital account
Abhijit Sen Gupta , Rajeswari Sengupta
Posted on: 15 May 2013

A key objective for any open economy is to avoid a financial or balance of payments crisis – a goal that often calls for trade-offs between liberalisation and maintaining control of the economy. This column explores the trade offs India has made.
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Helping the poor to save
Parul Agarwal , Deepti KC , Mudita Tiwari
Posted on: 23 Jan 2013

Do poor people save? This column portrays the saving and financial behaviours and preferences of the poor. It recommends designing and marketing savings products that address the constraints they currently face.
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Understanding India’s monetary policy
Rajeswari Sengupta , Nirvikar Singh
Posted on: 21 Dec 2012

From the outside looking in, it may seem that India’s central bank is making up its own rules, making it difficult to predict the next movements in the interest rate. This column argues that the central bank is in fact following a rule, you just have to look hard enough.
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Measuring India’s Capital Control Regime
Nirvikar Singh
Posted on: 23 Aug 2012

India’s policies on international capital flows are extremely complex, in part due to the absence of a consensus on the value of capital account controls. This column argues that the tools for measuring the implementation of the policy need to be revisited, and presents new evidence to suggest that India’s capital account has been liberalised – without leading to economic disaster.
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Searching for the soul of monetary policy in India
Amartya Lahiri
Posted on: 09 Aug 2012

What is the thinking behind the current policy of the Reserve Bank of India? This column argues that its rules for deciding on India’s interest rates are based on assumptions that hold in developed economies – but not necessarily in India. Indeed, in many cases this leads to precisely the wrong policy decisions.
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