Money & Banking
RBI unlikely to change repo rate at policy review

In his budget, the finance minister announced the government would sign the Monetary Policy Framework Agreement with the RBI for controlling inflation, which will become a law providing for a monetary policy committee

 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is widely expected to leave the repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, unchanged at 7.50 percent at its first bi-monthly monetary policy review of the new fiscal on Tuesday.
 
The scheduled review, coming after the first full budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposing changes in the RBI Act, follows two previous unscheduled rate cuts since January which brought the repo rate down from 8 percent by 50 basis points to the existing one. The interest rate cuts this year came after nearly two years.
 
The banks' cash reserve ratio (CRR) that determines their lending power, which has been at 4 percent since early 2013, is also expected to remain unchanged.
 
At the time of the last unscheduled cut, the RBI said that "given low capacity utilization and still-weak indicators of production and credit off-take, it is appropriate for RBI to be pre-emptive in its policy action to utilize the available space for monetary accommodation".
 
Announcing the rate cut in January, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said that "the key to further easing are data that confirm continuing disinflationary pressures and sustained high quality fiscal consolidation".
 
The consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation rose to 5.11 percent in January from 4.28 percent last December.
 
Moreover, Jaitley has extended the target deadline for controlling fiscal deficit to three percent, reasoning that insistence on a timetable to contain the deficit would harm growth prospects.
 
In his budget, the finance minister announced the government would sign the Monetary Policy Framework Agreement with the RBI for controlling inflation, which will become a law providing for a monetary policy committee.
 
The agreement is to "primarily maintain price stability while keeping in mind the objective of growth". It says the RBI will aim to bring retail inflation below six percent by January 2016 and to around four percent by fiscal 2016-17.
 
The government has also proposed to amend the RBI Act to take away money market regulatory powers from the central bank and bring it under the purview of market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
 

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ONGC sells 23% stake in Tripura power firm for Rs426 crore

The project is backed by a long-term gas supply agreement with ONGC, while the power off-take is on a long term basis with the 7 northeast states

 

India Infrastructure Fund II will acquire 23.5% stake worth about Rs.426 crore in ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC), jointly promoted by ONGC, IL&FS Energy Development Company (IEDCL) and the government of Tripura, state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp said on Wednesday.
 
ONGC said in a statement here that after the transaction, the shareholding in OTPC will be: ONGC 50%, IEDCL 26%, the Tripura government 0.5% and India Infrastructure Fund II 23.5%.
 
"This consummates the equity structure as was envisaged at the time of setting up the project," ONGC said.
 
OTPC has been formed to implement a gas-based 726.6 MW thermal power project at Palatana, Tripura. Its scope is to utilise the stranded gas reserves of ONGC in Tripura towards development of the northeastern states. 
 
The project is backed by a long-term gas supply agreement with ONGC, while the power off-take is on a long term basis with the 7 northeast states.
 
OTPC also owns 26% stake in North East Transmission Company (NETCL), a joint-venture company of OTPC, Power Grid Corporation of India and the seven northeastern states. 
 

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Haryana IAS officer Khemka gets another transfer

Khemka, as per the latest orders of the Haryana government, has been posted as Secretary, Archaeology and Museums Department and Director General, Archaeology and Museums

 

It seems there is no let up for senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka from transfers, as on Wednesday he was once again transferred to an inconsequential posting by the BJP government in Haryana.
 
This is Khemka's 45th transfer in 24 years.
 
Khemka, as per the latest orders of the Haryana government, has been posted as Secretary, Archaeology and Museums Department and Director General, Archaeology and Museums.
 
He was appointed as transport commissioner and secretary, Transport department, last year after Manohar Lal Khattar assumed office as chief minister of the first BJP government in Haryana.
 
At that time, Khemka, who had blown the lid off from the controversial multi-million-rupee land deals of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, was touted to get an important assignment. However, he was posted in the transport department.
 
Meanwhile, nine other senior officers were also transferred by the Haryana government.
 
Among those transferred were S.S. Dhillon, a former principal secretary to previous chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who has now been made additional chief secretary, Transport and Civil Aviation Department.
 
Additional Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Khattar, Sumita Misra, has been posted as Principal Secretary, Tourism department.
 

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COMMENTS

Proloy Coomar Pramanik

2 years ago

This must have come as a great relief to His Honesty, Mr Khemka. This is the first time he is being transferred without any ill-intention.

Manohar Lal Khattar ji is the first CM in 22 years of Mr Khemka's career, to have recognized his unparalleled honesty. Now he wants to extend the Swachh Department programme to another ministry too, and has heralded in none other the most honest officer -- Mr Khemka -- for the job.

Very soon Mr Khemka can expect to be promoted to the PMO too, so that he gets the maximum opportunity to practise Gujarat Model of Honesty.

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