To support a durable as well as lasting economic recovery amid concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday retained its key lending rates along with the growth-oriented accommodative stance during the pan-ultimate monetary policy review of FY22.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of India’s central bank voted to maintain the repo rate, or short-term lending rate, for commercial banks at 4 per cent.
Repo Rate (RR) is the rate at which the RBI lends money to commercial banks or financial institutions against government securities.
The reverse repo rate was also kept unchanged at 3.35 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the ‘Bank Rate’ at 4.25 per cent.
It was widely expected that MPC would hold rates along with the accommodative stance.
In a virtual address after the MPC’s bi-monthly meet, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that economic recovery disrupted by the second wave of the pandemic is gaining traction.
However, this recovery is still not strong enough to be self sustaining and durable, thereby, supportive policy measures such as accommodative stance are required.
Besides, RBI retained India’s FY22 GDP growth projection at 9.5 per cent.
Das pointed out that GDP is expected to grow at 6.6 per cent in Q3, 6 per cent in Q4, 17.2 per cent in Q1FY23 and at 7.8 per cent for Q2FY23.
“Overall, the recovery that had been interrupted by the second wave of the pandemic is regaining traction, but it is not yet strong enough to be self-sustaining and durable. This underscores the vital importance of continued policy support,” Das said.
“Downside risks to the outlook have risen with the emergence of Omicron and renewed surges of Covid-19 infections in a number of countries.”
Furthermore, the CPI-based inflation is projected at 5.3 per cent for FY22.
The CPI inflation is expected to ease to 5 per cent in Q1FY23 and stay at 5 per cent in Q2FY23.
“In the current situation, it is important to keep inflation aligned with the target while focusing on a robust growth recovery,” Das said.
“Simultaneously, the Reserve Bank remains cognisant of the need to ensure that financial conditions are rebalanced in a systematic, calibrated and well-telegraphed manner while preventing build-up of financial stability risks,” the RBI governor added.
Prudent financial management helps Reliance Jio reduce running costs
Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited prepaid entire deferred liabilities pertaining to spectrum acquired in auctions of year 2014, 2015, 2016 and the spectrum acquired in year 2021 through trading of right to use with Bharti Airtel Limited aggregating to Rs 30,791 crore (including accrued interest) in FY2021-22.
This was refinanced through a mix of INR Loans and Debentures. The Company expects that this prepayment will result in interest savings of about Rs 1,200 crore annually.
Reliance, a responsible organisation, leveraged its intellectual capital to contribute to the country’s fight against Covid-19.
Reliance’s scientists analysed more than 1,000 genomes of the virus.
The knowledge base was used to develop novel cost-effective diagnostic kits called ‘R-Green’ and ‘R-Green pro one’. These kits have received ICMR approval and showed a high degree of accuracy and specificity during validation studies.
Reliance has also collaborated with IIIM-CSIR (Jammu) to develop an RT-LAMP Kit to facilitate the point-of-care diagnosis of Covid-19.
The R&D team actively contributes to the company’s technical wisdom to facilitate innovation globally by publishing research articles on diagnostics and treatment. Application of natural-astaxanthin for COVID-19 management published in ‘Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy’ journal is recognised as top 100 research paper. The paper is listed in WHO’s global repository.
PSA based oxygen concentrators can produce oxygen with 93 per cent (+- 3 per cent) purity. The unit is an excellent solution during hospitalisation situation due to Covid-19 to maintain the SpO2 level of a patient. Reliance R&D has designed oxygen generator with a purity of 90 per cent to 95 per cent with 5 LPM oxygen leveraging its expertise in adsorption technology.
Reliance collaborated with India’s CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL) to recycle Covid-19 PPE waste. Useful products such as automotive components and flowerpots are being made from the recycled PPEs.
Reliance Industries Limited issued its Annual Report for FY22 on August 6. The company will be holding its Annual General Meeting on August 29.
Among other things, the RIL Annual Report mentioned about the progress made by all its business verticals viz. Retail, Digital Services, O2C and E&P, and spoke about RIL’s intentions in the Green Energy field.
India’s forex reserves rises after four weeks of fall
India’s forex reserves rose around $2.4 billion during the week ending July 29, after falling for last four consecutive weeks, on back of positive inflows by foreign investors in the Indian equity market.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $2.315 billion to $573.875 billion during the week ending June 29, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) weekly supplementary statistical data.
“India’s foreign exchange reserves, supplemented by net forward assets, provide insurance against global spillovers. Our umbrella remains strong,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said. “The Reserve Bank has also used its foreign exchange reserves accumulated over the years to curb volatility in the exchange rate,” he added.
During the current financial year (up to August 4), the US dollar index (DXY) has appreciated by 8 per cent against a basket of major currencies. In this milieu, the Indian Rupee has moved in a relatively orderly fashion depreciating by 4.7 per cent against the US dollar during the same period – faring much better than several reserve currencies as well as many of its EME and Asian peers.
The depreciation of the Indian rupee is more on account of the appreciation of US dollar rather than weakness in macroeconomic fundamentals of the Indian economy.
“Market interventions by the RBI have helped in containing volatility and ensuring orderly movement of the rupee. We remain watchful and focused on maintaining stability of the Indian rupee,” Das added.
In July, foreign investors turned net buyers in the Indian equities nearly after 10 months, with an investment of around Rs 4,980 crore in the Indian equity markets. This comes heavy sell-off by these entities of around Rs 50,203 crore.
According to NSDL data, investment of foreign investors in July month stood at Rs 4,989 crore, as compared to over Rs 50,000 crore outflows in June, Rs 39,993 crore in May and Rs 17,144 crore in April.
The other central banks of Asia also used their foreign exchange reserves to defend their currency.
Despite the resultant drawdown, India’s foreign exchange reserves remain the fourth largest globally.
Crack down on OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi can push them to leave India: Chinese state media
For Chinese processing and manufacturing enterprises that originally tried to make India an overseas product-processing centre, if it is indeed increasingly difficult and unprofitable to operate in the country, then withdrawing from India is also an available option, state-run Global Times has said.
The Indian government is looking into cases of alleged tax evasion by three Chinese mobile companies — OPPO, Vivo India and Xiaomi.
“Frequent investigations by the Indian side into Chinese enterprises not only disrupt those companies’ normal business activities, but also impedes the improvement of business environment in India and chills the confidence and willingness of market entities, especially Chinese enterprises, to invest and operate in India,” read a commentary in the publication.
Since April 2020, out of 382 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals the central government received from Chinese firms, India approved only 80 as on June 29.
“The number presents the increasingly difficult business environment facing Chinese investment and companies doing business in India,” the report said.
Some manufacturers have turned their eyes to Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam after withdrawing from India.
“Faced with competition from Vietnam, India should no longer set obstacles for its manufacturing development, and should stop carrying out crackdown on Chinese investment,” the report added.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the China-India trade is on course to cross $100 billion for the second consecutive year as it has gone up to $67.1 billion in the first half of 2022.
“Hopefully India can provide a fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese investors, which will be mutually beneficial to both Chinese enterprises and India’s manufacturing ambitions,” the commentary read.
OPPO India, Xiaomi India and Vivo India were served notices by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for duty evasion, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed the Rajya Sabha this week.
A show-cause notice demanding Rs 4,403.88 crore has been served to OPPO Mobiles India Ltd based on an investigation conducted by the DRI, while five cases of Customs duty evasion have been registered against Xiaomi Technology India, Sitharaman said in a written reply.
The DRI detected customs duty evasion of around Rs 2,217 crore by Vivo Mobile India Private Ltd.
A show-cause notice has been issued to Vivo India demanding customs duty amounting to Rs 2,217 crore, under the provisions of the Customs Act.
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