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India recovery not yet at point for pulling back liquidity -finance minister

India recovery not yet at point for pulling back liquidity -finance minister

FILE PHOTO: India's Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives for the 3rd Inter-sessional Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Kham

NEW DELHI : Indian economy has not reached the level where the central bank can begin pulling back liquidity as Asia's third-largest economy is still recovering from the shock of two major waves of coronavirus, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.

"I am glad that RBI (Reserve Bank of India) understands that quicker retrieval of the liquidity from the economy may not do the necessary things to win," Sitharaman said in a virtual conference with industries.

"They have not given any indication about wanting to suck out the liquidity that is available there," she added.

She said while India will take measures to contain inflation, growth will be a priority in the current environment.

India's inflation has been above the RBI's tolerance band of 6per cent for the last two months, which prompted the central bank to raise its inflation forecast even as it held its key rates at record lows earlier this month.

To counter the economic fallout of the pandemic, the central bank has pumped in massive amounts of liquidity through various measures like open market operations over the last year, leaving the banking system with an average surplus of around 6 trillion Indian rupees (US$80.8 billion).

Sitharaman said that it is "very clear" that India's economy has started recovering as exports have begun to grow rapidly and tax collection has increased.

The finance minister also said that it is committed to privatisation goals and along with robust tax collection it will be able to manage its fiscal deficit goals.

The government aims to narrow its fiscal deficit to 6.8per cent by the end of the current fiscal year compared with 9.30per cent last year.

(US$1 = 74.2290 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar and Aftab Ahmed; editing by Jason Neely)

Source: Reuters


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