Tuesday, September 10, 2013

 Steps taken by the RBI and the government of India to stabilise the currency markets

Capital Outflow
  • The RBI reduced the limit for outbound investment and remittances from India.

Encouraging Capital Inflows
  • RBI has removed administrative restrictions on investment schemes offered by banks to non-resident Indians, and removed ceiling on interest rates on deposit accounts held by NRIs.
  • The government liberalised the FDI limits for 12 sectors, including oil and gas.  A Bill is pending in the Parliament to revise the FDI limit to 49% in the insurance sector.
  • RBI increased the current overseas borrowing limit for banks from 50% to 100%, and allowed it to be converted into rupees and hedged with the RBI at concessional rate.
  • RBI also allowed banks to swap fresh NRI dollar deposits with a minimum duration of 3 years with the RBI.

Limiting Imports and encouraging exports
The Finance Ministry increased the customs duty on importing precious metals including gold and platinum.
20% of every lot of import of gold must be exclusively made available for the purpose of export.

Oil Import Needs

  • RBI decided to provide dollar liquidity to three public sector oil marketing companies (IOC, HPCL and BPCL) to help them meet their entire daily dollar requirements.
  • Government is also considering increasing its import of crude oil from Iran, and pay for it directly in Indian rupees.

Trade Deficit
Ministry of Commerce is exploring the possibility of using local currency for trade with major trading partners.
RBI allowed exporters and importers more flexibility in management of their forward currency contracts.

Curbing Speculative  in currency
  • RBI increased the short-term emergency borrowing rates for banks.
  • The daily holding requirements under the Cash Reserve Ratio for banks have been modified.

International Cooperation
  • Government increased its currency swap limit with Japan from USD15 billion to USD50 billion.
  • The BRICS nations also agreed on a USD100 billion foreign currency reserve pool as part of their plan to create a BRICS New Development Bank.  
  • India will contribute $18 billion to this fund from its reserves.

Source: Reserve Bank of India


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