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Economy and Business

Since November 8 last year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been facing a credibility crisis. It had to deal with a barrage of accusations for toeing the government line on demonetisation.

 

The transition on July 1 to a Goods and Services Tax regime will be truly historic. What it must avoid is dredging up terrible legislative ideas from history – like the recent notification of anti-profiteering rules.

 

The collapse in exports to Afghanistan is an unnecessary and self-inflicted wound. The news that Pakistani exports in the current financial year may be in the region of $1bn, a drop of nearly a third, and down from a high of $2.4bn in 2011, is unsurprising.

 

Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have now joined a lengthening list of states that have announced costly bailouts for farmers. Their profligacy is bad news for India.

 

Three years of drought, that is the state of the nation. The monsoon of hope is a long way away. Yet the dream has not soured; a reflection perhaps on the nature of our Republic.

 

The recent farmers’ agitation in Madhya Pradesh is indicative of the unaddressed distress and pain of Indian farmers since the 1960s.

 

No large country can become rich without manufacturing the goods that are consumed or demanded by its people. Most services — especially the basic, low technology and low value-added services — will anyway be produced within the country.

 

Strong and credible institutions aid a country’s growth. In pursuit of this goal, the law governing Reserve Bank of India was amended last year to introduce a framework to squarely target inflation.

 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will announce its decision on Wednesday, after its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) concludes its two-day meeting. The US Federal Reserve will announce its decision exactly a week later, after the Federal Open Markets Committee concludes its two-day deliberations. Both will be keenly watched.

 

India’s economy, or gross domestic product, grew a disappointing 6.1% in the January-March quarter of 2016-17. This growth rate however was not surprising.

 


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