Raghuram Rajan

Inflation turns negative at -0.39% in January, food prices high

Inflation turns negative at -0.39% in January, food prices high

New Delhi: Inflation declined to a five and a half year low of (-)0.39 percent in January on falling prices of manufactured and fuel items even though food articles remained high.

Inflation measured on wholesale price index (WPI) was at 0.11 percent in December. The data for November was revised downwards to a negative (-)0.17 percent, from the provisional estimate of zero.

However, food inflation witnessed a rising trend in January and scaled to a six month high of 8 percent, as per the government data released today.

Inflation in pulses, vegetables and cereals was higher in January over the previous month.

On the other hand, the rate of price rise in potato, milk, rice and protein rich items like egg, meat and fish was slower in the month under review.

Ambanis, Birlas, Mittal among 113 vying to be niche banks

Mumbai - At least 113 entities, including top corporates such as RIL, Aditya Birla Group, Airtel, Vodafone and Future Group, have approached the RBI to seek licences for setting up payment or small finance banks.

"72 applications for Small Finance Banks and 41 applications for Payments Banks were received up to the deadline for submission yesterday," RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said during a bi-monthly monetary policy review.

Indicating that the final tally may increase, he said "this number excludes applications that might have been received at other venues".

RBI may cut interest rate further in policy review this week

New Delhi/Mumbai - The RBI may cut its policy rate further by 0.25 percent this week to boost growth, as inflation remains under control and fiscal situation appears better following a record CIL disinvestment.

RBI, which last month announced a surprise rate cut of 25 basis points after maintaining a hawkish monetary stance for 20 months, is scheduled to undertake its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy review, 2014-15 on Tuesday, February 3.

RBI may ease rates further: Chief Economic Advisor

RBIDavos: Lauding RBI's role in helping bring down inflation, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said the central bank may further ease the interest rates as improvement on price front has opened the space for monetary easing.

"The way I view is that RBI has a mandate to bring down inflation and keep it low and given the inflation has been coming down, that opened up the space for monetary policy easing and RBI has begun that," said Subramanian, who was here to attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.

15 GMs short-listed for appointment as 14 EDs in banks

Raghuram RajanMumbai: A government-appointed selection panel has short-listed 15 general managers for appointment as 14 executive directors in various public sector banks, sources said on Wednesday.

The names of the GMs whose names have been short-listed include Harideesh Kumar of Vijaya Bank, Pawan Kumar Bajaj, RA Sankara Narayanan, NK Sahoo, Raj Kamal Verma and Charan Singh of BoI, Arvind Kumar Jain of OBC, Rishabh Lodha, Ravi Shankar Pandey and Ajit Kumar Rath of Union Bank, Ravindra P Marathe, KVR Moorthy and Kharat Kishor Piraji (BoB), Umesh Kuamr Singh of Central Bank and VK Shukla of Canara Bank.

RBI calls for protector for bankers to fast-track financial decision making

Raghuram RajanPune, Jan 5 : Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan called for the government to afford greater protection to bankers, stating that such a step will be necessary in order to fast-track financial decision making.

"If officers are hauled up for [fast-track financial] decisions, it will lead to delay in good decisions because of avoidance of risk on the part of the banker," Rajan said while addressing a two-day bankers ' retreat here.

Rajan further called for the cleaning up of bad debts of banks and the restructuring of other possible non-performing assets (NPAs) within a year in order to put the economy back on track.

'Make in India' should not merely focus on manufacturing: Rajan

Raghuram RajanNew Delhi: Sounding a note of caution against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' campaign, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on Friday said it should not focus only on manufacturing.

"I am... Cautioning against picking a particular sector such as manufacturing for encouragement, simply because it has worked well for China. India is different, and developing at a different time, and we should be agnostic about what will work," Rajan said while speaking at the Bharat Ram Memorial Lecture in Ficci.

RBI maintains status quo; indicates rate cut in early 2015

Mumbai - Disappointing industry and the government, RBI Tuesday chose not to go for a rate cut for fifth time in a row but held out a promise of a softening stand in the next review due in February.

While keeping the short term lending (repo) rate unchanged at 8 percent, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said that "a change in the monetary policy stance at the current juncture is premature".

"However, if the current inflation momentum and changes in inflationary expectations continue, and fiscal developments are encouraging, a change in the monetary policy stance is likely early next year, including outside the policy review cycle," he said.

We have political will to undertake financial reform: Raghuram Rajan

Raghuram RajanNew York: Underscoring the need for financial sector reforms, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan has stressed that the "time to deliver begins now" and there is political will to undertake reforms and improve India's economic growth.

"Financial reform is not difficult - we have the political will to improve," the Indian Consulate here tweeted the RBI governor as saying during an event on Wednesday.

Raghuram Rajan likely to hold onto key rates today

Raghuram-RajanMumbai - Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan is widely expected to hold the key rates citing high inflation at the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy announcement on Tuesday, even though the pro-growth lobby has been wishing for a rate cut.

This is despite some downward movement in consumer price inflation of late, which eased to 7.8 percent for August. But it is the medium-term targets that worry the central bank, say RBI watchers.

Banks' commission for DBT scheme to be doubled

Raghuram RajanMumbai : Finance Ministry is in the process of finalising the commission to banks at 2 percent of the quantum of funds they transfer to individual beneficiaries under the government's direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme.

"The issue of commission is in the final stages and the order will be issued for paying 2 percent commission to banks shortly," Anurag Jain, joint secretary (financial inclusion and chief vigilance officer) in Finance Ministry said at a Ficci-organised banking summit through video conferencing this evening.

The present rate of commission is 1 percent.

RBI Governor calls PM Jan Dhan Yojana biggest financial development

Raghuram RajanMumbai, Sept 15 : Reserve Bank of India ( RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan said here on Monday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana ( PMJDY) is the biggest development in terms of financial inclusion.

"When we talk of financial inclusion, the biggest development has been Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana, financial access has to be a national priority. Jan Dhan Yojana is a good scheme, the target should be universal reach, not speed and numbers," said Rajan.

EMs need to participate in global financial agenda: Rajan

Raghuram-RajanMumbai: Emerging markets need to participate in setting agenda at the global level to ensure that their interests are taken into consideration in policy formulations by the West, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Thursday.

"One of the biggest deficiencies of emerging markets, as they become bigger players, is they are not participating in setting up the global agenda. They are not participating in changing the system, except as a reaction," Rajan said while interacting with students at the St Xavier's College here.

High interest rates will help in long-run: Rajan

High interest rates will help in long-run: RajanMumbai - The Reserve Bank's elevated rate structure may be painful in the short run, but will help in the long-term by containing inflation, Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Wednesday.

"It (high interest rates) may be more painful in the short run but helps in the long-run by quelling inflation," he said while speaking at an event late this evening.

India no longer a problem economy: Rajan

Raghuram-RajanMumbai: Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday said India has emerged from the perception of being in crisis and has placed itself as a better place to remain invested.

"I keep telling the international fora that India is not a problem any more. I think there was a perception problem (last year), but I think on Tuesday that perception also doesn't exist," Rajan said during the customary post-policy interaction with mediapersons at RBI headquarters here.

The central bank chose to keep all the key policy rates unchanged, except cutting SLR by 50 basis points to infuse liquidity.

RBI to hold rates on Tuesday, say analysts

RBI to hold rates on Tuesday, say analystsMumbai: Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan is most likely to hold the key rates at the upcoming review of the monetary policy on Tuesday, where factors like liquidity management measures are the ones to watch out for, brokerages said on Friday.

"RBI to leave rates unchanged despite easing inflation... in no hurry to ease rates," Singaporean brokerage DBS said in a note.

Banks' asset quality better but systemic risks up: RBI

RBIMumbai: The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday said the overall asset quality of banks has improved in the recent past with a reduction in bad loans, although systemic risks have increased.

"Banking sector risks have increased since December 2013, as shown by the Banking Stability Indicator.

"Though there was a marginal improvement in asset quality, concerns remain about the liquidity and profitability aspects. Stress tests indicate higher vulnerability for public sector banks as compared to their private sector counterparts," the RBI said in its ninth Financial Stability Report released this evening.

Moving bond trading regulation to hit govt bond market: Rajan

Raghuram-RajanMumbai: Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday said shifting the regulation of bond trading from the central bank would have an adverse impact on the government bond market.

"My personal view is that moving the regulation of bond trading at this time would severely hamper the development of the government bond market, including the process of making bonds more liquid across the spectrum, a process which the RBI is engaged in," Rajan said at State Bank of India's Banking and Economic Conclave.

He was talking about reforms suggested by the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC).

Proper food management to help ease price rise: Rajan

Raghuram RajanMumbai: The Reserve Bank on Tuesday said it is closely watching inflation situation and hoped that proper food management will help in easing of food prices.

"We are watching inflation situation. Food prices have had an effect in the last couple of months," RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said, adding food prices may come down with appropriate food management by the government.

Headline inflation accelerated to five-month high of 6.01 percent in May from 5.2 percent previous month, mainly driven by high food and fuel inflation.

Retail inflation still elevated, says Rajan

Raghuram-RajanNew Delhi: Asserting that retail inflation excluding food and fuel is still at an elevated level, the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday said it would endeavour to curb price increases.

"The Reserve Bank remains committed to keeping the economy on a disinflationary course, taking CPI inflation to 8 percent by January 2015 and 6 percent by January 2016," RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said in the Second Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement.

He said the lowering of interest rates will depend on easing of inflationary pressure.

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