Economy
Budget has given RBI space to cut rates: Jayant Sinha
New Delhi : The union budget 2016-17, with the target of holding the next fiscal's deficit at 3.5 percent of GDP, has given space to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ease interest rates, union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said on Thursday.
 
"Macroeconomic stability is fundamental to ensuring that monetary policy has space. If we don't provide that monetary policy space by generally a tighter fiscal policy, we cannot expect monetary policy to loosen up," he said at an event here organised by Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.
 
"So, that is the kind of environment we have tried to create on the macro side.
 
"There was fiscal consolidation, the current account deficit came down, inflation came down. As that happened, interest rate, which was very high over 10-12 percent, came down quite dramatically," he added.
 
Declaring that prudence lies in adhering to fiscal targets, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, presenting the budget on Monday, retained the much-awaited figure of fiscal deficit for the current financial year at 3.9 percent of GDP, and at 3.5 percent for 2016-17 but added he had also ensured that the development agenda is not compromised.
 
The fiscal deficit for 2014-15 touched 4.1 percent of the GDP.
 
Meanwhile, India's services sector activity fell to a three-month low amidst subdued growth in new orders, key macro-economic data showed on Thursday.
 
The Nikkei Business Activity index fell to a three-month low of 51.4 in February, from 54.3 in January, adding to expectations of a rate cut by the RBI.
 
At its sixth and the fiscal's final bi-monthly monetary policy review last month, RBI kept its key lending rate unchanged at 6.75 percent.
 
"The Reserve Bank continues to be accommodative even as it leaves the policy rate unchanged in this review, while awaiting further data on inflation," Governor Raghuram Rajan said in his policy statement.
 
India's consumer price indexed (CPI), or retail, inflation has been rising. As per data released last month, annual retail inflation moved up further to 5.69 percent in January, from 5.61 percent in the month before.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Accidents cost India Rs.1.7 lakh crore losses annually
Kolkata : India loses $35 billion each year in road accidents, which is slightly less than the nation's defence budget, a road safety expert said here on Thursday.
 
According to Kamaljit Soi, member of the National Road Safety Council of the ministry of road transport and highways, India is "losing a little less" than its defence budget each year on road accidents.
 
"This is about Rs.1 lakh 70,000 crore in road accidents every year. Human life has become very cheap," Soi told the media here.
 
Emphasising the gravity of the situation, he said: "65 percent of the people who are causing accidents are illiterate. Number of deaths is more in the 15 to 44 age group."
 
Queried on the Kolkata hit-and-run case in which an Indian Air Force officer was killed during the Republic Day Parade rehearsal, and subsequent arrest of prime accused Sambia Sohrab, whose father was a leader of West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress, Soi said it's a "good step if action has been initiated in the matter."
 
"Nobody is above the law," Soi, who is also the chairman of Raahat (The Safe Community Foundation), asserted.
 
In the same vein, he said the Bombay High Court ruling in the Salman Khan hit-and-run case, in which he was acquitted, was a "bad example" for the nation.
 
"Everybody should be treated in the same manner. I had vehemently opposed this during the time," he added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

MG Warrier

1 year ago

We talk about poverty, healthcare and other social security issues more and these are getting some attention in the media, though not enough attention from policy makers. Accidents, as they happen in isolation, affecting mostly those near and dear to those getting injured or lose lives, there is no strong lobby to campaign for measures that can prevent some of the accidents on land and in water-bodies. A case study could be that of accidents in Mumbai suburban locals. The causes can be traced to over-crowding of compartments, inadequate safety provisions and so on. While an auto-rikshaw will not be allowed to take more than 3 passengers, just imagine the number of passengers traveling in a bogie of a suburban local during peak hours. Regarding road accidents, many a time the cause is ‘less respect’ for traffic discipline. We take more care to protect comparatively richer citizens from accidents or at least give them faster, better care when they are affected by accidents.

Nippon Life stake hike in Reliance Capital Asset gets SEBI nod
Chennai : With SEBI on Thursday giving the nod for Japanese Nippon Life Insurance to hike its stakes in Reliance Capital Asset Management to 49 percent, the latter's name will be changed to Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management.
 
In a statement, Reliance Capital Asset Management said it has completed the regulatory approval process for increasing the stake of Nippon Life Insurance, a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest life insurer in the world, to 49 per cent from the current 35 percent.
 
The Japanese company will now be investing an aggregate value of Rs.1,196 crore ($184 million) to acquire an additional 14 percent stake in Reliance Capital Asset Management, in tranches.
 
The transaction pegs Reliance Capital Asset Management's valuation at Rs.8,542 crore ($1.3 billion), the highest valuation till date for any asset management company in the country.
 
"In line with the new shareholding structure, the name of the company will also be changed from Reliance Capital Asset Management to Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management. Nippon Life Insurance would also become the co-sponsor in Reliance Mutual Fund, along with Reliance Capital, post the completion of stake sale," the statement added.
 
Before the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the company has already received approval from Competition Commission of India for this stake sale.
 
"We are thankful to the regulators for granting their approvals to this stake sale and will be completing the transaction in next few days," the statement quoted Reliance Capital executive director and group CEO Sam Ghosh as saying.
 
The boards of directors of both the companies - Nippon Life Insurance and Reliance Capital Asset Management - had already approved the increase in stake by the Japanese partner, subject to regulatory approvals.
 
Reliance Capital Asset Management is the largest asset manager in India, in terms of AUM, managing Rs.2,61,424 crore ($39.6 billion) as on December 31, 2015, across mutual funds, pension funds, managed accounts and offshore funds.
 
Nippon Life Insurance had acquired 35 percent stake in Reliance Capital Asset Management in two tranches - 26 percent for Rs.1,450 crore in 2012 and 9 percent for Rs.657 crore later.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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