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Don’t want RBI money, but can’t let economy starve: Jaitley

“The main issue was not the economic capital framework. It’s an issue for a medium term. But the immediate issue is we can’t allow our economy to starve (on liquidity),” Jaitley said at a summit hosted by television channel Republic TV here.

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Arun Jaitley

Mumbai, Dec 18 : Admitting using Section 7 of the RBI Act to force a discussion with the central bank on liquidity and credit issues, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said he could not have let the economy starve for liquidity.

As for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s economic capital, he said it was never the main issue between the government and the RBI and that the government does not want any money from the bank’s reserves to fix its fiscal deficit.

“The main issue was not the economic capital framework. It’s an issue for a medium term. But the immediate issue is we can’t allow our economy to starve (on liquidity),” Jaitley said at a summit hosted by television channel Republic TV here.

Stating that his government had the best fiscal deficit track record, he declared that even in the current year, he will meet the announced fiscal deficit target within the available resources.

“I don’t want any money from the Reserve Bank’s reserves at the moment. The only question which was raised were really two…there were several questions around two important facts — first relating to liquidity in certain sectors of the economy and availability of credit,” he said.

In his tiff with the RBI, which ended with Governor Urjit Patel resigning last week, Jaitley said he always respects the bank’s autonomy, but as a sovereign and accountable government, he had to flag the liquidity issue for which he used all tools available.

“We used every instrument available to our advantage to force a discussion and whatever steps we took — informal plus formal and statutory — were really to flag the issue of liquidity and credit,” he said hinting at the Section 7 of the RBI Act, which was never used earlier.

The section empowers the government to give directions to the central bank on matters of public interest even if the RBI or its Governor holds a different view.

Stating that there was never a breakdown in his relationship with the central banker, Jaitley said he wanted the autonomous and independent RBI to hold stakeholder consultations and resolve the problem, which was related to monetary policy.

“I say I have read some books, some data, some research papers, some statistics and I am forming an opinion. The empirical evidence in the market would be entirely different… All these institutions must be autonomous but must never be isolationist. If they are isolationists, there is a fair chance they will go wrong,” he added.

Business

Mukesh Ambani world”s 7th richest, overtakes Warren Buffet

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds the first rank with a net worth of $186.8 billion, followed by Bill Gates in the second position with a net worth of $110.5 billion.

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Mukesh Ambani Picture

New Delhi, July 10 : Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani has become the seventh richest person in the world overtaking Warren Buffet, one of the most successful investors globally, according to the Forbes Real Time Billionaires Index.

As per the latest Forbes data, Ambani”s net worth rose $2 billion on Friday and currently stands at $70.1 billion.

His rise among the world”s richest individuals has been boosted by the recent continuous surge in the share price of Reliance Industries (RIL).

On Friday, RIL shares on the BSE hit a fresh all-time high of Rs 1,884.40. Following the surge in share prices, the oil-to-telecom major”s market capitalisation crossed Rs 11.90 lakh crore.

The shares have risen largely due to the investments coming into its technology and telecom arm Jio Platforms from global marquee investors. Jio Platforms has raised Rs 1.17 lakh crore so far in just over two months.

The net worth of Warren Buffet, who runs Berkshire Hathaway and is popularly known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, stands at $68.1 billion and is at the eight spot.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds the first rank with a net worth of $186.8 billion, followed by Bill Gates in the second position with a net worth of $110.5 billion.

Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires ranking tracks the daily ups and downs of the world”s richest people. Individuals whose fortunes are significantly tied to private companies will have their net worths updated once a day.

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Unholy nexus of BJP govt and MNCs stands exposed: Congress

“If on June 16, hand sanitisers were essential commodities up till 30th December, 2020; what changed in 15 days? Why does the government want the people to be charged high prices? Why no price limit on these essentials to fight Covid-19? Is the war on Covid over?” Surjewala questioned.

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Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi, July 10 : The Congress on Friday criticised the Narendra Modi government over its decision to remove face masks and hand sanitisers from the essential commodities list. It said that an “unholy nexus” between the BJP government and the MNCs stands exposed.

In a series of tweets, Congress national media in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Opportunity in Adversity said the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi). The unholy nexus of BJP government with MNCs/Companies of profiteering at the cost of people stands exposed. Government has removed face masks and hand sanitisers as essential commodities. Now, masks/hand sanitisers can be sold at any MRP.”

He further said, “On June 16, the BJP government had said — As lockdown has been relaxed, demand for hand sanitisers may increase & it should continue to be covered under EC Act till Dec 31, 2020.. ”its continued availability is of paramount importance” & “to ensure its availability at affordable rates.” Surjewala also attached a copy of the June 16 order in his tweet.

“If on June 16, hand sanitisers were essential commodities up till 30th December, 2020; what changed in 15 days? Why does the government want the people to be charged high prices? Why no price limit on these essentials to fight Covid-19? Is the war on Covid over?” Surjewala questioned.

His remarks came after the government”s decision to remove hand sanitisers and face masks from the essential commodities list. On Friday, India recorded 26,502 cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours taking the total tally to 7,93,802 cases with 21,604 fatalities due to the pandemic.

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Closed Markaz, no foreigners dims hopes for Nizamuddin shopkeepers

In comparison to the adjoining Bhogal market, Nizamuddin market is primarily focused on the needs of the visitors to the Markaz. Now since the markaz has been closed, the usual flow of customers is missing.

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Nizamuddin Markaz

New Delhi, July 10 : A group of five men in white kurta pyjamas wait outside the Nizamuddin Markaz for the local policeman to arrive. After some anxious moments, the policeman arrives on a motorcycle with the building”s key. It is time for afternoon prayers and only five people are permitted to offer prayers inside the Markaz five times a day. As he unlocks the gate, the five men walk in to offer Zohar Namaz.

Khaleeq, who has his small shop, selling skull caps, beads and other religious items, exactly opposite the Markaz entrance, feels that with foreigners gone from the area, the market will have a hard time to pick up.

“With the uncertainty on when foreigners would be allowed in Markaz now, the business at Nizamuddin market is badly hit. Most of the shops here are based on the foreigners” needs and demands. With no foreign customers, we are facing heavy losses,” he said.

The worst affected are money exchange shops which were mostly dependent on foreigners” visit to Markaz.

Ahmed Uzair, a banker who resides in Nizamuddin, believes that the market might now pay the price of being too much dependent on foreign customers attending the jamaat at Nizamuddin Markaz.

“Many shopkeepers are vacating their shops as they are unable to pay the rent. Many have packed up and went to their native places as they see a bleak future of what was once a flourishing market,” Uzair said.

After de-containment of Nizamuddin, the barricades present at the main road leading to Nizamuddin Markaz has been removed now but there are little or no customers in the market.

In comparison to the adjoining Bhogal market, Nizamuddin market is primarily focused on the needs of the visitors to the Markaz. Now since the markaz has been closed, the usual flow of customers is missing.

“Not just foreigners but visitors from other states in India formed the backbone for the survival of this market. It”s facing a tough time now and it seems it will continue for some time,” said Shamshad Ahmed, another shopkeeper in the area.

The Markaz was closed since the lockdown and on the night of March 29, police and health authorities started bringing people out from the Markaz and sent them to hospitals and quarantine facilities.

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