The government on Thursday announced discontinuation of the release of weekly primary and food inflation data based on the Wholesale Price Index
New Delhi: The government has discontinued practice of releasing food inflation data every Thursday from today reports PTI
"Consequent upon the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) held on January 24, 2012, weekly release of Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for the commodities/ items under the Groups 'Primary Articles' and 'Fuel & Power is discontinued with immediate effect," the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which releases the inflation data, said
The government, however, will continue releasing the monthly headline or overall inflation data, which also contains the break-up for all segments including food, non-food, fuel and manufactured items. The monthly WPI for January would be released on February 14.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry used to release the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data on primary articles and fuel and power every week, mostly on Thursdays. The primary articles include food items, which has a weight of about 14 per cent in the overall inflation.
Food inflation stood at (-) 1.03 for the week ended January 14, according to the data released last week. Headline for December was 7.47 per cent.
"It is a sensible decision to do away with weekly data release. Not only are the weekly-on-week data more volatile but they are also not a good indicator of the real price situation," Crisil Chief Economist D K Joshi said.
He also said that globally the practice is to release inflation data on a monthly basis.
Without indicating the timeline for the rate cut, CFO Diwakar Gupta said, the bank would take a call on the issue after taking into account the "spreads and profitability."
The country's largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), is "keen" to cut interest rates in order to boost credit expansion, a top bank official said.
"All sentiment is building towards it (an interest rate cut)...we are keen to do it," the bank's chief financial officer (CFO) Diwakar Gupta told reporters on the sidelines of an International Research Conference organised by the RBI.
Without indicating the timeline for the rate cut, he said, the bank would take a call on the issue after taking into account the "spreads and profitability."
The Reserve Bank of India last month reduced the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), the portion of deposits that banks are required to keep with the central bank, from 6% to 5.5% releasing Rs32,000 crore of primary liquidity into the system. As regards SBI, the CRR cut would unlock Rs5,000 crore for the lender. Although the RBI did not cut its lending rates, the CRR reduction had raised hope of interest rate cut by the lenders.
According to Gupta, a rate cut can happen even before the reduction of repo (short-term lending rate) by the RBI.
With the CRR cut, the bank stands to earn up to Rs500 crore over the year, he said, adding it enhances "the ability (of SBI) to pass on the relief when the conditions warrant".
The Government too has recently approved Rs7,900 crore of fund infusion into the bank to help it expand business without sacrificing the capital adequacy norms. SBI, according to estimates, would need additional capital of around Rs16,000 crore next year. The bank's lending book expands by around Rs1,50,000 crore every year and going by that figure it will require Rs15,000 crore to Rs16,000 crore in capital next year, Gupta explained.
“We want to introduce more equity products," IDBI Asset Management Company executive director B Sarath Sarma told reporters.
Asset management company IDBI Mutual Fund is mulling over the introduction of more equity products in the coming months, a senior official said.
"Presently, the equity markets are doing well... We want to introduce more equity products...," IDBI Asset Management Company Executive Director B Sarath Sarma told reporters.
He said the company wanted to give more options to customers since the equity market was doing well and that was the reason for their proposal to introduce more products in the equity market. "We want to give more choice to our customers and distributors...," he said.
On the company's financials, he said it had Rs6,100 crore of assets as of 31 December 2011, compared to Rs2,000 crore in the previous year.
Sarma and senior officials were here to launch their new product, IDBI Dynamic Bond Fund, which opened for subscription on 31 January 2012. It will invest in a portfolio comprising debt instruments such as government securities, public sector undertakings, corporate bonds and money market instruments.
"This is a retail product. We look forward to better our earlier NFOs (New Fund Offers) and this becomes the flagship brand of IDBI," he said. The scheme closes on 14 February 2012 and will reopen for sale and repurchase on 23 February 2012.