ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Strengthening Dynamic Role of Monetary Policy

The repo rate exceeding the overnight call money rate continuously for months and the forward premia for the US dollar in the domestic forex market dipping below interest rate differentials may be said to reflect loss of effectiveness of monetary instruments. To restore the dynamic aspect of monetary policy, action on three fronts is called for.

Exchange Rate Policy and Management

The objective of this study is to present the Indian experience of exchange rate management against the backdrop of international developments both at the theoretical and empirical levels. No single exchange rate regime is most appropriate for all countries and the regime that is appropriate for a particular country may change over time. The stated objective of India�s exchange rate policy is managing volatility with no fixed rate target while allowing the underlying demand and supply conditions to determine exchange rate movements over a period. Against this background, the empirical exercise undertaken indicates that monetary policy has been successful in ensuring orderly conditions in the foreign exchange market and containing the impact of exchange rate pass-through effect on domestic inflation. Real shocks are predominantly responsible for movements in real as well as nominal exchange rate; monetary policy shocks have been relatively unimportant. Deviations from uncovered interest parity can be observed suggesting role for sterilised foreign exchange market intervention in ensuring orderly conditions; at the same time, the excess returns are insignificant and get eliminated relatively quickly. Overall, the analysis indicates that exchange rate management in India has been consistent with macroeconomic stability.

The Economy: A Post-Budget Perspective

The focus of this article is not so much the quantitative or specific aspects of the budget as some qualitative issues regarding the economy. It touches on some developing trends and, since the budget is the peg on which it hangs, refers to one or two specific proposals.

Does Monetary Policy Have Differential State-Level Effects?

The paper examines whether monetary policy has similar effects across major states in the Indian polity. Impulse response functions from an estimated Structural Vector Auto Regression (SVAR) reveal two sets of states: a core of states that respond to monetary policy in a significant fashion vis-à-vis others whose response is less significant. The paper attempts to trace the reasons for the differential response of these two sets of states in terms of financial deepening and differential industry mix.

Trade and Monetary Regionalism

There has been a marked tendency to treat trade and monetary regionalism independently and scant attention has been paid to the connections between the two. The conventional wisdom has been that trade integration must precede monetary integration. However, this 'trade-first' sequencing has recently come under scrutiny in Latin America and particularly in east Asia, which is actively considering if and how intra-regional monetary cooperation might be enhanced in parallel with ongoing steps towards trade integration. There are in fact some good reasons to question the 'trade-first' conventional wisdom.

Cautious, but Flexible

The RBI's latest monetary policy measures fall neatly into the policy framework pursued for the last five years with the objectives of maintaining a stable financial environment and strengthening the financial system and improving the transmission of monetary policy signals.

Evolving Monetary Policy in India

This paper reviews the process of monetary policy formulation, with some stylised facts monetary policy currently pursued. Issues concerning the objectives and conduct with reference to targets and the indicators are discussed. Some possible areas where future research on monetary policy could be focused are also suggested.

Structural Deterioration of Banking Development

The Reserve Bank seems to be stuck between the two stools of reform and facing structural disabilities. It is being forced to accept the trend towards 'universal banking', despite its expressed misgivings. Worse, serious structural deterioration has occurred in the pattern of banking development.

Interest Rate Defence of Exchange Rate

While the rationale for raising the interest rate to defend an exchange rate under speculative attack is well grounded in economic and financial theories, empirical validation of the effectiveness of such a policy stance has generally been difficult and is shrouded with conflicting findings. In India, besides forex market interventions and use of several administrative measures, the Reserve Bank of India has occasionally resorted to the high interest rate option during major episodes of significant pressures on the external value of the rupee. An empirical assessment suggests that one standard deviation shock to the call rate leads to rupee appreciation in the very second month. Similarly, for one standard deviation shock to net interventions, the exchange rate appreciates gradually by a few paise over five months. The impulse response also suggests that in response to one standard deviation shock the exchange rate appreciates by about 8 paise in the second month, but subsequently the exchange rate depreciates gradually, more than offsetting the initial impact of the hike in interest rate.

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