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I came from USA to India for notes change during demonetisation: Raghuram Rajan

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New Delhi, Sep 8: Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India says he was open to staying on as Governor but the “government did not grant me contract.”

He also said if unprepared, the notes ban can have a chilling impact on the economy. “I conveyed my notes ban concerns to those that mattered.”

Following are the highlights of Raghuram Rajan’s interview with NDTV:

He was asked that as a RBI governor two-year extension was offered, he denied and said they just had to plan it, that’s all and I had a three-year term and the term came to an end. If there had to be an extension, there had to be an agreement with the government but there wasn’t.  The government did not offer me a new contract and that’s where it ended.

When asked was RBI keen to have you back, he replied I am the wrong guy to ask (this). I cannot go into the details of our discussion but there was no agreement in the end.

He said if you’re not prepared on Day 1 with all the currency that’s being replaced – currency is important for economic activity – you will have a chilling of economic activity. You would see a dramatic slowdown of economic activity on the note ban issue.

His opinion on notes ban achievement, “There is the question of whether you can catch the guys that you want to catch and do they find ways around it. I think the worst possible combination of circumstances will be where you don’t catch the guys but you still have the effects on economy.”

‘Indians are good at Jugaad’. “In India working people have coined the word jugaad. We’re pretty good at jugaad. So if you know India well you should recognise that a lot of Jugaad happened – people will find ways around it. Its economic arbitrage with a touch of illegality about it.”

In the interview he was asked on many critical issues:

On the notes ban process

What we have said in the book that after we gave our note, a committee was set up and started the process of discussion. In my view, it never came back to us that here is a decision that you’ve to make or here’s the timing we want to do this scheme.

On new notes

We had started the process of designing the new notes. The new notes – 2000, 500 and a new 1,000 – had been approved in May. To say none (of notes ban prep) was done would be incorrect. But a monetary economist would’ve liked for all the notes to replaced at one go.

We don’t yet know the full effects of demonetisation. Based on information that we have now, ignoring future dividends, the answer is fairly obvious. (no)

On Aadhaar Cards

“I like the process of getting everybody to sign on to their accounts with the Aadhaar number.”

On Gauri Lankesh murder

It’s very unfortunate that a journalist – or anybody – be killed. But it’s too early to draw conclusions. We have to be vigilant that we don’t narrow the space for discussion but let us not worry that the country is going towards only one direction.

Raghuram Rajan on trolls

“We should not let our dialogue be governed by the idiocracy”.

On Indian economy

Efficiency of economic system breaks down with protectionism.

“One of the reason for the rise of populist nationalism is because of a sense of victimisation among the majority community. This leads to long term problems for the economy.”

Wefornews Bureau

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Market Review: Higher industrial output, Kim-Trump meet lift equity indices

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Sensex Nifty Equity

Mumbai, June 16: Healthy industrial production data and an encouraging geo-political scenario aided the key Indian equity indices to rise for the fourth consecutive week.

The gains in the week ended Friday, however, were limited by a number of global factors including the interest rate hike in the US, and US President Donald Trump’s approval to tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese exports.

Additionally, domestic factors such as a rise in retail and wholesale inflation also arrested the gains.

Index-wise, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE rose by 178.47 points or 0.50 per cent to close at 35,622.14 points on a weekly basis.

The wider Nifty50 of the NSE closed the week’s trade at 10,817.70 points — up 50.05 points or 0.46 per cent — from its previous close.

According to analysts, market breadth was positive in only two of the five trading sessions.

“Markets ended the week with modest gains after a sharp bounce back from the lows of 10,755 points (Nifty50),” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

Hem Securities’ Director Prateek Jain said: “Last week indices extended their winning streak to the fourth consecutive week. The upswing was seen despite retail inflation rising to 4.9 per cent for the month of May compared to the previous month.”

According to Rahul Sharma, Senior Research Analyst at Equity99, “It was an eventful week on the global front too, with US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signing a joint agreement for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.”

“Further, the Fed (US Federal Reserve) has again done what it was expected to do as it raised benchmark interest rates hinting at a little more aggression in tightening monetary policy this year,” Sharma said.

“Another event, which kept investors sentiments on the toe was reports that President Donald Trump’s administration has cleared tariffs on tens of billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods”

On the currency front, the rupee closed at 68.02 against the US dollar depreciating by 51 paise from its previous week’s close of 67.51 per greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 5,294 crore, while the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 4,014.25 crore during the week.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) divested equities worth Rs 3,071.85 crore, or $455.4 million, in the week ended on June 15.

Sectorally, the top gainers were the pharma, IT, energy and PSU bank indices and the top losers were metal, infrastructure and realty indices, Jasani told IANS.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were Dr Reddy’s Lab (up 13.97 per cent at Rs 2,351.10); Sun Pharma (up 8.11 per cent at Rs 571.05); Tata Consultancy Services (up 5.33 per cent at Rs 1,841.45); IndusInd Bank (up 4.01 per cent at Rs 1,965.85); and Reliance Industries (up 3.10 per cent at Rs 1,013.85 per share).

The major losers were Tata Steel (down 5.60 per cent at Rs 565.95); ONGC (down 4.64 per cent at Rs 165.45); Coal India (down 3.74 per cent at Rs 279.05); NTPC (down 3.40 per cent at Rs 156.05); and Tata Motors (DVR) (down 3.30 per cent at Rs 180.05 per share).

IANS

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Despite overflowing godowns, Modi Govt allows pulses import

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Pulse price rise

New Delhi, June 16: Despite overflowing godowns, the central government has allotted quotas for import of pulses and is enforcing an additional import agreement with Mozambique.

The development comes at a time when domestic stocks are at their peak, domestic production is expected to be high and prices are reducing.

According to the Hindu report, Farmers and millers are unhappy with the situation, but the government says it is balancing the needs of Indian consumers and commitments to foreign trade partners on the one hand and the interests of Indian peasants on the other.

On the related note, the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) held a meeting on Monday, during which the final allocations of import quotas — totalling two lakh tonnes of tur or arhar dal, and 1.5 lakh tonnes each of moong and urad — were made.

Those amounts show a quantitative restriction that was imposed on pulses imports in August last year in response to a glut in domestic supply and decreasing prices, which continues this year.

“The government has stock, traders have stock, millers have stock, and farmers have stock, so there is a surplus. We don’t understand why the government is insisting on import…we may be able to meet only 40-50% of our quotas”. A senior official at the DGFT insisted that according to the terms of the allocation, import quotas must be met by August end.

As a good monsoon forecast is expected, the Agriculture Commissioner predicts domestic pulses production of 24 million tonnes in 2018-19.

However, earlier in May,  the DGFT issued a notice exempting pulses imports from Mozambique from the restrictions.

WeForNews

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Maharashtra: Collector orders closure of 7 govt accounts in SBI

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SBI

Mumbai, June 16: In an unprecedented move, Yavatmal district collector ordered the closure of seven government accounts in the State bank of India (SBI) due to failure in achieving targets of disbursal of crop loans to farmers in the district.

According to the Times of India report, Collector Rajesh Deshmukh issued orders to this effect on Thursday.

Yavatmal made the headlines of being the epicenter of farmer suicides in Maharashtra. Between January 1 and April 30, 68 farmers reportedly claimed their lives.

Deshmukh told TOI, that he undertook the action as the bank had failed to achieve the target of releasing loans to farmers.

“I had no option but to close the state government’s accounts with SBI. I had a long meeting with high-ranking SBI officials on June 2 and 3. However, when there was no progress I made clear it to the SBI administration that the government’s accounts would be closed,’’ he said.

SBI was anticipated to release Rs 571 crore crop loans and the maximum disbursement was to be done before the commencement of sowing season.

“I was told that against the target of Rs 571 crore, SBI had disbursed only Rs 51 crore. We were expecting that SBI, through its 45 branches in the district, would disburse at least 50% of the loan amount. Under such circumstances, we will not be able to tackle the agrarian crisis owing to non-cooperation,” the collector stated.

As per Deshmukh, the response of the district central cooperative bank and other nationalised banks was much better.

So far, the district central cooperative bank has disbursed 42% of the target amount, Union Bank of India and Central Bank of India released 28% and 20%.

The collector informed that “For Yavatmal district, we have set a target of Rs 2,078 crore”.

Citing the loan amnesty scheme, the collector said Rs 1200 crore loans of 2.8 lakh farmers had been waived.

WeForNews 

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