Column : Policy easing wonít lift investment
What should RBIís stance be in the forthcoming monetary policy meeting? Under the current circumstances, perhaps the best contribution RBI can make to Indiaís long-term growth is not to give in to the pressure for cutting interest rates, and steadfastly hang in there till inflationary expectations come down. This may happen a few quarters after consumer price inflation rates actually come down. If it moves now, this may not happen.
There is an increasing clamour for RBI to cut interest rates. The government has announced a series of reform measures as well as steps to cut the fiscal deficit such as cutting subsidies on diesel and LPG. Additional plans for disinvestment have been announced. With these and better tax administration, the government hopes to reduce the fiscal deficit. RBI has been making the case that the government needs to bring the fiscal deficit under control for inflation to come down. With the present expansionary fiscal policy, RBI would need to keep monetary policy tight to keep inflation under control. The government is now suggesting that it is doing its bit to control the deficit, so RBI must now ease monetary policy to kick-start investment and push up growth.
RBI Governor Subbarao has a difficult call to make. Considering that inflation has remained high and above RBIís target
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