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

Articles By C Rangarajan

Monetary Growth, Financial Structure, and Inflation

It is argued that a key question of the operation of monetary policy is its decomposition into a price effect and an output effect. Specifically, the
association between the easing of global monetary and liquidity conditions on the one hand, and the significant spurt in inflation, on the other, in recent
times is probed to conclude that across the world, there seems to be an association. The issues of monetary stability, price stability and financial stability are also intimately interlinked.

Evolving Contours of Monetary Policy

Monetary policy has emerged as an important tool of economic policy both in developed and developing economies. The monetary and financial system is far more complex today than it has been in the past. Financial intermediation has reached a high level of sophistication, which has itself become a source of concern. The impact of monetary policy action can be transmitted through a variety of channels, some of which though recognised in the past, have become more important. While the traditional issues such as the objectives of monetary policy and the possible trade-off among them remain relevant, they need to be related to the far-reaching changes in the institutional environment at home and abroad. The changing objectives of monetary policy, newly evolving instruments of monetary control and the transmission mechanism and issues related to autonomy in the pursuit of monetary policy are examined.

 

Some Issues in External Sector Management

The Indian external sector has undergone radical changes post 1992. Against this background, an attempt is made to look at the role of the exchange rate, level of current account deficit, adequacy of foreign exchange reserves and capital flows, and capital account convertibility. The balance of payments in India has been managed well so far. There is a need to increase export competitiveness, which requires among other things an efficient, well-knit infrastructure. To prevent a rise in the real effective exchange rate, we should keep domestic prices stable. The surpluses in the services sector will also need nurturing.

RBI’s Interest Rate Policy and Durable Liquidity Question

The Reserve Bank of India should take into consideration longer term liquidity management for smooth monetary transmission. It must clearly define “durable liquidity” in the form of some quantitative variable and set its desired path for one year or so. This will anchor expectations on future interest rate and liquidity premium, and certainly improve the link between the interest rates in various terms to maturity. Moreover, the desired target for durable liquidity can also serve to improve overall monetary policy effectiveness.

Counting the Poor

Since the submission of the report of the 2012 expert group on poverty measurement, there have been a few comments on it. The purpose of this note is to clarify some of the issues raised by researchers and others on this report. The clarifi cations discussed here are (1) what is new in the approach defining the poverty line; (2) the use of calories; (3) multidimensional poverty; (4) high urban poverty in many states; (5) NAS-NSS consumption differences; (6) poverty measures in other countries; (7) public expenditure and poverty; and (8) poverty ratio eligibility for access to programmes. As most of the researchers have commented on multidimensional poverty, this note also elaborates on the reasons for not considering this measure in the report.

Can the SDR become a Global Reserve Currency?

Global economic prospects are worsening rapidly. This has revived the debate on the evolving international monetary system and the international reserve currency that will underpin it. Since the 1940s, the US dollar remains the world's dominant reserve currency. Developments since 2008 have challenged the pre-eminence of the US dollar. The euro appeared to have provided an alternative during 2000-08, but has come under fire since early 2010. Prospects for internationalisation of emerging economy currencies are still limited. The global crisis of 2008-09 has resurrected interest in the special drawing right as an international reserve currency. In this paper, we argue that the SDR fails to meet the main attributes of an international reserve currency - deep and liquid markets, supported by currency convertibility; wide use internationally; macroeconomic and political stability in the issuing country. At this juncture, the critical mass of political will to invest the International Monetary Fund with these responsibilities simply does not exist and/or will take a long time to form. Despite shocks and sometimes acute differences in views on the US dollar, the current system has been resilient over decades, and is likely to remain so for some more years.