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Ashok Kotwal
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 »
Introduction to e-Symposium: The GDP conundrum
Posted on: 16 Nov 2016
Ever since India’s Central Statistical Organisation came out with the new GDP series with ... read on »

Tag: inflation

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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Purchasing power parity: Some concerns
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 04 Sep 2017

In this article, Dr Gurbachan Singh discusses how it may be problematic to make international comparisons using PPP that is based on observed prices, and why effective prices should be used instead.
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Price risk and poverty
Lucie Gadenne , Sam Norris , Monica Singhal , Sandip Sukhtankar
Posted on: 15 May 2017

There is an ongoing policy debate in India on whether grain entitlements under PDS should be converted into cash transfers. This column shows that in the face of high price variability, in-kind transfers such as the PDS can be superior to cash transfers as they could significantly reduce the strength of the relationship between prices and caloric intake, hence, shielding households from price risk.
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Reconsidering the 4% inflation target
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 16 Jan 2017
Tags:   inflation


The RBI targets an inflation rate of 4%. In this article, Gurbachan Singh takes an in-depth look at the prevailing macroeconomic policy regime. This exercise provides an insight, which forms the basis for an alternative policy regime under which it is makes sense to target a lower inflation rate.
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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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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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Monetary dimensions of the recent Indian inflationary experience
Pronab Sen
Posted on: 12 Oct 2015

Inflation in India remained at or near double-digit levels between 2009-10 and 2014-15. In this article, Pronab Sen, Country Director, IGC India Central, argues that while the initiation of the inflationary process may have been rooted in structural factors, there is a monetary story to be told about its propagation across commodities and perpetuation over time. This understanding explains RBI’s helplessness and may help in designing appropriate policy interventions for similar inflationary episodes in the future.
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Charting a course for the Indian economy
Karthik Muralidharan , Arvind Subramanian
Posted on: 05 Aug 2015

Karthik Muralidharan (Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego) speaks with Arvind Subramanian (Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India) on a broad set of issues ranging from the uniqueness of the Indian development model, the political economy of reforms, reducing factor misallocation in the economy, enhancing State capacity, financing India´s infrastructure needs, to the implications of the Fourteenth Finance Commission, improving the design of social welfare programmes, and climate change.

This is the third in the series of I4I Conversations.

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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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India’s macroeconomic outlook
Eswar Prasad
Posted on: 16 Dec 2014

With falling inflation, high forex reserves and the new government embarking on a broad reform agenda, things seem to be looking up for India. In this article, Eswar Prasad shares his macroeconomic outlook for the economy. He provides his perspective on foreign inflows, disinvestment, fiscal position, the reform agenda, and escaping the low-growth trap.
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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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Keys to successful reform in India
Eswar Prasad
Posted on: 09 Jul 2014

The new Indian government’s first budget - due to be unveiled this week – will be an important indicator of how forcefully the new PM intends to translate his mandate of putting India’s economy back on track into effective actions. This article contends that both strategy and specifics will be crucial for this budget to effectively kick-start economic reforms.
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Why food inflation has been high in India
Rudrani Bhattacharya , Narhari Rao , Abhijit Sen Gupta
Posted on: 16 Apr 2014
Tags:   inflation


The persistently high food inflation witnessed in India over the past few years has been a cause for concern. This column seeks to identify the major drivers of food inflation in India, and to evaluate the extent to which food inflation has had an impact on non-food and overall inflation.
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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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Changing dynamics of the Indian gold market
Misha Sharma
Posted on: 13 Jan 2014

The demand for gold and its import have been on the rise in India, despite rising gold prices. The RBI has responded by introducing various measures to curb the demand for gold and gold loans. This column discusses the implications of these measures, and suggests complementing such curbs with innovative financial products that can act as substitutes for gold loans.
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India's unique crisis – a short term fix
Devesh Kapur , Arvind Subramanian
Posted on: 20 Dec 2013

While the current turbulence in the Indian economy bears a resemblance to the situation of other emerging economies, it is unique when compared with historical experiences of economic crises. In their previous article, Kapur and Subramanian discussed the misdiagnosis of India’s crisis, and consequent errors in policy remedies. In this part, they outline short-term actions for reversing the growth slowdown, reducing current account deficit and preventing inflation.
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India's unique crisis
Devesh Kapur , Arvind Subramanian
Posted on: 16 Dec 2013

While the current turbulence in the Indian economy bears a resemblance to the situation of other emerging economies, it is unique when compared with historical experiences of economic crises. In the first of a two-part article, Kapur and Subramanian discuss the misdiagnoses of India’s crisis, and the consequent errors in policy remedies. In the next part, the authors provide a short-term solution for India’s unique crisis.
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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 is mitigating a financial crisis in India?
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 08 Nov 2013

The recent turmoil in the currency market and the general slowdown in growth in India are disturbing. However, India has by and large performed better in terms of macro-financial stability as compared to many parts of the world. This column discusses the problems confronting policymakers, and current policy responses and associated costs, and suggests alternative policies.
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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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Long term recovery of the Indian economy depends on reforms
Sarah Chan
Posted on: 24 Apr 2013

The Indian economy has been facing challenges in the form of sluggish growth, high inflation, and rising fiscal and current account deficits. This column highlights trends in the economic conditions, and outlines policy actions and reforms needed to put the economy back on track.
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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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Monetary policy in India and other developing countries
Prachi Mishra , Peter Montiel
Posted on: 03 Sep 2012

Setting interest rates and controlling inflation is an altogether different challenge in countries like India. This column argues that in many developing countries, the financial system is still too underdeveloped for monetary policy to have a reliable effect on the economy, raising doubts over several of today’s policies.
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