RBI to consider falling food prices in monitory policy review

 

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Thursday said that it will take into account the declining food prices while taking a view on the monetary policy which comes up for review later in the month, reports PTI.

“The impact of food prices on (inflationary) expectations is certainly a factor that needs to be taken into account,” RBI deputy governor Subir Gokarn said here.

Although there is no direct relation between food inflation and monetary policy decisions, he said prices of essential kitchen items do impact inflationary expectations in the economy.

“The role of food inflation is essentially on expectations ... there is no direct link between monetary policy action and food prices,” Mr Gokarn said.

Food inflation remained in the negative territory for two consecutive weeks and was (-) 2.90% for the week ended 31st December.

The overall inflation in November was 9.11% and chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu said he expects the WPI number to come down below 7.5% in December helped by declining food inflation.

Food inflation accounts for 15% in the overall inflation basket. Overall inflation has been above 9% mark since December 2010.

Mr Gokarn said, “Increasing affluence is driving significant demand increases ... and the fact that inflation or prices are rising quite sharply basically suggest that the supply response is relatively weak”.

The RBI has raised rates 13 times since March 2010 to control inflation by taming demand. It is scheduled to come out with its third quarter policy review on 24th January.

The industry wants the Reserve Bank to reduce interest rates with a view to arresting slowdown and boosting industrial growth. The industrial growth which turned negative in October, showed an increase of 5.9% in November.

Food inflation, Mr Gokarn said, as a phenomenon “is something to be treated as a persistent source of inflation, with pressure on prices and policy response to it naturally has to be driven in that perspective”.

 

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SEBI to reform IPO norms to check volatility on listing day

 

Last month, SEBI barred seven companies from raising money from the public for suspected misuse of proceeds from IPOs, pricing irregularities and inadequate disclosure of information

New Delhi: Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Thursday said it is in the process of reforming the initial public offer (IPO) norms to ensure minimum price volatility on the day of listing, reports PTI.

“We are in the process of reforming the IPO process which will ensure that much safer process and volatility in the initial days of listing is much less ... we are looking into every aspect,” SEBI whole-time member Rajeev Agarwal said.

“Our aim is that the volatility in the IPOs should not be there, particularly on the listing day,” he said on the sidelines of an Assocham event here.

He also said that the disclosure norms should be such that investors should not lose money.

Last month, SEBI barred seven companies from raising money from the public for suspected misuse of proceeds from IPOs, pricing irregularities and inadequate disclosure of information.

The regulator also barred six investment bankers from managing any more share sales for alleged failure of due diligence in overseeing the IPOs.

The merchant bankers who have been prohibited from participating securities market include “PNB Investment Services, the book running lead manager of IPO of Taksheel Solutions and Almondz Global Securities (PG Electroplast and Bhartiya Global Infomedia)”. Their CEOs, too, have been barred from participating in the capital market till further order.

“... by not complying with the regulatory obligation of making the disclosures, the company and its directors had not provided the vital information which is detrimental to the interest of investors in securities market,” SEBI had said in order against Taksheel Solutions said.

Mr Agarwal said the industry should make efforts to channelize more savings into capital markets to fund capital requirements of various sectors. Only 4.6% of national savings are invested in capital markets.

There is need to broaden and deepen market, he said, adding, products have to be developed for rural India based on their needs and requirement.

 

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Interest rate unlikely to ease soon: Plan panel advisor

 

“Though food inflation is in negative zone, but manufacturing item inflation is at 7.8%. I do not think they (RBI) will reduce rate unless this inflation comes down to at least 6.5%,” principal advisor in the Planning Commission, Pronab Sen said

Kolkata: The high interest rate regime is likely to continue in near term as long as non-food item inflation eases to 6.5%, reports PTI quoting principal advisor in the Planning Commission, Pronab Sen.

“Though food inflation is in negative zone, but manufacturing item inflation is at 7.8%. I do not think they (RBI) will reduce rate unless this inflation comes down to at least 6.5%,” Sen said at an interactive session with the Bharat Chamber of Commerce here.

Asked how long it would take the non-food inflation to ease to 6.5%, Mr Sen said “between three to four months”.

According to him, food inflation which is in deflation of over 3% will not continue for long and by March-April it would be to 7%-8%.

“We are in negative zone on food due to very high inflation in food articles last year,” Mr Sen said.

Regretting that the government was not addressing structural issues affecting inflation in agriculture, Mr Sen said inflation was within permissible limit despite food inflation of 7%-8% last few years due to low inflation in manufacturing articles. But drought shot up food inflation.

Calling for proper logistics for agricultural growth, he said, “It is chicken and egg problem. Production side problem cannot be solved unless there is proper logistics mechanism.” 

Asked whether the Planning Commission has addressed the issue, Mr Sen said, “We have flagged the issue in the 12th Plan concept paper.” 

Mr Sen advocates change of APMC Act by states for revamp in agriculture.

On land acquisition, the Planning Commission principal advisor recommends for a sensible method for pricing of land.

“Land is genuinely a scarce commodity, especially in West Bengal which has the highest population density. But we can link to some indicator like employment for per unit of land allowed for acquisition,” Mr Sen said.

 

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