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Friday,03-December-2021

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Price hike hits Lok Sabha proceedings, 3 adjournments, limited business

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LPG-cylinder

Lok Sabha proceedings faced disruption for the second consecutive day on Tuesday as pandemonium on the price hike of LPG cylinder and petroleum products were again raised by the Opposition since the House assembled.

Slogans against the government policies and demands to roll back increased prices were the reasons behind the protest, leading to three adjournments of the House with limited business.

The ruckus led to the final adjournment of the lower house till Wednesday 11 a.m. soon after it assembled at 2 p.m. followed by two back-to-back adjournments earlier in the day — the first till 12 noon and the second till 2 p.m. Meanwhile, the House managed to take two questions during Question Hour.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) MP from Uttar Pradesh Meerut constituency, Rajendra Agrawal, who was on the chair, requested the Opposition members to let the House function as National Capital of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill 2021 was listed for the day for consideration and passage aimed at identifying the unauthorised colonies in Delhi for their regularisation.

As the joint Opposition led by the Congress along with Trinamool, DMK, NCP, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference as well as the BJP’s former allies Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Shiv Sena continued their agitation, Agrawal adjourned the House for the day, announcing next sitting at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

The second adjournment was announced by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Meenakshi Lekhi, on the chair then. Amid the uproar Lekhi allowed Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal to laid papers on the table listed against the names of concerned Ministers. Meanwhile, Union Minister Thawarchand Gehlot moved the motion for the election of two members to the Central advisory board on disability.

Gehlot said: “In pursuance of clause (c) of sub-section (2) of Section 60 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, the members of this House do proceed to elect, in such manner, as the Speaker may direct, two members from amongst themselves to serve as members of the Central Advisory Board on disability for the period till they cease to be the members of the House, subject to the other provisions of the Act and Rules”.

As the ruckus continued, Lekhi announced the adjournment of the House till 2 p.m.

Earlier, soon after the House assembled at 11 a.m. and Question Hour started, the joint Opposition sloganeering against the government continued. Congress leader of the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the question that the Opposition was not being shown on television during the discussion in the House.

The Opposition members later trooped near Speaker’s podium and continued sloganeering even after Speaker Om Birla’s multiple requests to the parliamentarians to go back to their respective seats and let the proceedings move on.

Two questions were taken during the Question Hour despite the uproar, but the Speaker had to announce adjournment of the House till 12 noon as the Opposition did not heed to his requests.

It was the second consecutive day of the second leg of the Budget Session when the Opposition’s protest against the government on the fuel price rise continued. The House faced two adjournments on Monday when it met after the recess of the session.

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Business

Unheard of Rs 3.3 lakh Cr bank deposit bulge in Diwali week slumped in a fortnight

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Indian-Rupee

State Bank of India’s Economic Research Department has highlighted the curious case of Rs 3.3 lakh crore deposit bulge and the Rs 2.7 lakh crore deposit slump in alternate fortnights.

As per the provisional data released by RBI for the fortnight ended November 19, ASCB’s aggregate deposits have slumped by Rs 2.7 lakh crore during the fortnight. The slump in deposits follows an abrupt increase by Rs 3.3 lakh crore during the previous fortnight ended November 5. Interestingly, such growth in deposits was around 36 per cent of the incremental deposit growth at that point of time. This increase in deposits and subsequent slump is quite a contrarian trend, says Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India.

While it may be exactly difficult to decipher the increase and subsequent decline, it does pose questions on liquidity management/financial stability or a shift in behavioural trend in customer payment habits through digitisation and hence lower currency leakage and concomitant deposit bulge or both.

First, the fortnightly increase of Rs 3.3 lakh crore. This has never happened during a Diwali week as there is always a currency leakage and concomitant deposit decline. This is also the fifth largest increase in any fortnight in the last 24 years. Such huge incremental addition has happened only a few times, with higher deposits accretion (than the current year’s fortnight) occurring during the fortnight ended November 25, 2016 (Rs 4.16 lakh crore), September 30, 2016 (Rs 3.55 lakh crore), March 29, 2019 (Rs 3.46 lakh crore) and April 1, 2016 (Rs 3.41 lakh crore). However, the increase in November 2016 was because of demonetisation and the March and April fortnightly increases could be attributed to seasonal year-end bulge. In this respect, the current deposit bulge requires a detailed explanation, the report said.

Next, the fortnightly deposit slump in the subsequent fortnight. ‘We believe that it is possible that there was a large influx of deposits into the banking system for the fortnight ended November 5, 2021 in anticipation of a build up in rally in stock markets post primary issuances of new age companies and others. However, when such a rally did not materialise, the bulge in banking deposits slumped and almost 80 per cent of deposit bulge was withdrawn, the report said.

Interestingly, the amount of money parked in fixed reverse repo window jumped from Rs 0.45 lakh crore on October 19 to Rs 2.4 lakh crore on November 17, 2021 and has remained at such level till December 1. However, it must be noted that the significant jump in digital transactions has also resulted in lower usage of cash in the current fiscal and ideally could also have resulted in a surge in deposits for the Diwali week.

Meanwhile, if we look at the quarterly ASCB data, though the deposits growth remains same in Q2 (2.6 per cent) as compared to Q1 (2.5 per cent), sequentially at all-India level, apart from Metro regions, the deposits growth has decelerated in Q2 as compared to Q1, particularly in rural areas indicating that the current economic recovery is mostly urban led and rural economy is still recouping. Meanwhile, ASCB’s credit has increased by Rs 1.18 lakh crore (7.1 per cent YoY) during the fortnight ended November 5, which may be due to festive demands.

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Business

Oil marketing companies keep diesel, petrol prices unchanged

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petrol

Oil marketing companies kept diesel and petrol prices unchanged across major Indian cities on Friday.

Accordingly, diesel and petrol prices in Delhi stood at Rs 86.67 per litre and Rs 95.41 per litre, respectively.

In the financial capital Mumbai, the prices remained unchanged at Rs 94.14 and Rs 109.98 respectively.

Prices also remained static in Kolkata at Rs 89.79 and Rs 104.67 respectively.

In Chennai too, it remained at Rs 91.43 and Rs 101.40 respectively.

Across the country as well, the price of the fuel largely remained unchanged on Friday, but the retail rates varied depending on the level of local taxes.

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Business

Equity indices rise for third consecutive day

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The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) rose in the early trade on Friday. Indices have been gaining for the past three consecutive sessions.

At 9.15 a.m., the S&P BSE Sensex traded at 58,671 points, up 0.37 per cent.

It opened at 58,555 points from the previous close of 58,461 points.

Till now it has touched a low of 58,512 points.

Besides, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 17,424 points after closing at 17,401 on Thursday.

It traded at 17,475 points, up 0.39 per cent during the early-morning trade session.

Hindustan Zinc, Infosys, NMDC, L&T and BPCL were some of the top gainers during the early trade, exchange data showed.

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