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Friday,22-October-2021

Business

IMF board approves policy reforms to support low-income nations

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International-Monetary-Fund

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a set of policy reforms to the concessional lending facilities to better support the recovery of low-income countries (LICs) from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These reforms are set to ensure that the Fund has the capacity to respond flexibly to LICs’ needs over the medium term while continuing to provide concessional loans at zero interest rates,” the IMF said on Thursday in a statement.

The centrepiece of the policy reforms that were approved by the IMF executive board last week is a 45 per cent increase in the normal limits on access to concessional financing, coupled with the elimination of hard limits on access for the poorest countries, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as further saying.

“The decision to raise access limits is not a directive to lend more across all IMF programs,” Sean Nolan, deputy director of the IMF’s strategy policy and review department, told reporters later in the day.

“It provides the flexibility to provide more zero interest financing for countries with strong economic programs to handle the pandemic and the path to full recovery,” Nolan said.

The IMF executive board also approved a two-stage funding strategy to cover the cost of pandemic-related concessional lending and support the sustainability of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), which is tailored to the diverse needs of low-income countries.

In the first stage, the IMF will seek to secure about $4 billion in subsidy resources needed to finance zero interest lending from the PRGT.

Meanwhile, the IMF will seek to mobilize about $18 billion in new PRGT loan resources from PRGT lenders.

The move came as the demand from low-income countries for IMF financial support is expected to remain high over the next few years.

The IMF has provided financial support to 53 of 69 eligible low-income countries in 2020 and in the first half of 2021, with about $14 billion disbursed as zero percent interest rate loans from the PRGT.

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Business

No increase in fuel prices for 2nd consecutive day on Tuesday

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Petrol

 Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged for the second consecutive on Tuesday providing relief to consumers who have been facing a regular increase in fuel prices in the past few months taking the retail rates to historic high levels.

With no revision, the price of petrol in Delhi remained Rs 105.84 a litre and Rs 111.77 per litre in Mumbai, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. In Mumbai, diesel rates also remained static at Rs 102.52 a litre; while in Delhi it costs Rs 94.57, the same as on Sunday.

The price pause comes after the rates rose for four straight days when the rates of both petrol and diesel rose by Rs 1.40 paise per litre. There was no change in the rates also on October 12 and 13.

Diesel prices have increased on 19 out of the last 25 days taking up its retail price by Rs 5.95 per litre in Delhi.

With diesel prices rising sharply, the fuel is now available at over Rs 100 a litre in several parts of the country. This dubious distinction was earlier available to petrol that had crossed Rs 100 a litre-mark across the country a few months earlier.

Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5, but oil companies finally raised the pump prices last week. Petrol prices have also risen on 16 of the previous 21 days taking up the pump price by Rs 4.65 per litre.

Crude prices have been on a surge rising over a three-year high level of over $ 85.7 a barrel now. It has softened a bit, falling below $ 85 a barrel now. Since September 5, when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $9-10 per barrel as compared to the average prices during August.

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Markets open on a positive note

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Bombay-Stock-Exchange

 The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Tuesday opened on a positive note during the morning trade.

The Sensex of the BSE opened at 62,156.48 points and touched a high of 62,159.29 points. The Sensex touched a low of 61,964.41 points.

On Monday, the Sensex closed at 61,765.59 points.

The Sensex is trading at 62,061.59 points, up by 296.00 points or 0.48 per cent.

On the other hand, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at lower note at 18,602.35 points after closing at 18,477.05 points.

The Nifty is trading at 18,549.55 points in the morning.

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Petrol, diesel prices rise again, burn bigger holes in consumers’ pockets

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Petrol

 Petrol and diesel price rose again on Friday taking its retail rates to record high levels across the country affecting consumers this festive season.

Accordingly, in the national capital, petrol and diesel prices increased by 35 paisa per litre to Rs 105.14 per litre and Rs 93.87 per litre, respectively.

In India’s financial capital of Mumbai, petrol became costlier by 34 paisa per litre to Rs 111.09 a litre on Friday, the highest across all the four metro cities. Diesel also costs Rs 101.77 for one litre in Mumbai.

The price hike on Friday is for a second consecutive day after the rates remained static on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Diesel prices now have increased on 17 out of the last 21 days taking up its retail price by Rs 5.25 per litre in Delhi.

With diesel price rising sharply, the fuel is now available at over Rs 100 a litre in several parts of the country. This dubious distinction was earlier available to petrol that had crossed Rs 100 a litre mark across the country a few months earlier.

Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5 but oil companies finally raised its pump prices last week and this week given a spurt in the product prices lately. Petrol prices have also risen on 14 of the previous 17 days taking up its pump price by Rs 3.95 per litre.

OMCs had preferred to maintain their watch prices on global oil situation before making any revision in prices. This is the reason why petrol prices were not revised for last three weeks. But extreme volatility in global oil price movement has now pushed OMCs to effect the increase.

Crude price has been on a surge rising over three year high level of over $84.5 a barrel now. Since September 5 when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $9-10 per barrel as compared to average prices during August.

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