friday www.thestatesman.com 05 april 2019 fINd uS ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P7 SENSEx 38,684.72 -192.42 WeAtheR partly cloudy sky. rain or thudershower likely to occur. Max and min temp likely to be around 34-26 degree celsius, resp RAINFALL: Nil ReLAtIve humIdIty Max.89% Min. 64% Max: 32.4°C (-3) SuN riSeS 05:26 hrs MooN riSeS 05.33 hrs Min: 26.2°C (+1) SuN SetS 17:53 hrs MooN SetS 17:56 hrs tempeRAtuRe New moon today thumbNAILs New Chief Justice: Governor KN Tripathi administered the oath of office to Justice Thottathil Bhaskaran Nair Radhakrishnan as the CJ of Calcutta High Court on Thursday. CJ said: “The Bar and the Bench have to be in consonance to sustain people’s faith in judiciary.’’ Rahul files papers in Wayanad: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has assets worth over 15.88 crore, according to the affidavit filed by him while filing his nomination for Wayanad LS seat. In the 2014 elections, he had declared the value of his total assets as Rs 9.4 crore. SC reserves verdict on RTI ambit: Nobody wants a “system of opaqueness” but in the name of transparency the judiciary cannot be destroyed, the Supreme Court said on Thursday, while hearing the appeals of its registry against the Delhi High Court order that the CJI's office falls under the ambit of RTI Act. NO mOdI wAVE IN ANdhRA PRAdESh, SAyS TdP mP BjP SuPPORTERS ARE mOdIjI kI SENA INdIA fuELLEd hASINA’S dECISION TO OuST yuNuS NIfTy 11,598.00 -45.95 P6 ` vs $ 69.17 -76 PAISE P4 GOLd 30,460.00 +75.00 RBI key interest rate cut to boost economy loans may be cheaper; 4 out of 6 MpC members vote for rate cut STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE MuMbai, 4 april W ith a view to give a boost to the sluggish economy before the ensuing elections, the Reserve Bank today cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points for the second time in as many months, a move that may translate into lower EMIs for home and other loans. The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by the RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, decided to cut the repo rate to a one-year low of 6 per cent and the reverse repo rate to 5.75 per cent on prospects of benign inflation. Four of the six members of the MPC voted in favour of the rate cut. Two of them were in favour of status quo. The RBI decision confirms that the domestic economy is impacted by the global economic slowdown headwinds. The RBI move will reduce the cost of funds for lenders/banks but whether the benefits will be transmitted to retail borrower remains uncertain as bankers, immediately after the bi-monthly policy statement, declined to make any commitment to pass on the benefits to the borrower. In the aftermath of the previous policy, a few banks lowered their rates by barely 5 to 10 basis points. Mr Das said the central bank would insist on commercial lenders to extend the benefits to borrower. The MPC maintained "neutral" policy stance with five members in support and one opposing the move. The sluggishness in the economy also prompted the MPC to lower GDP growth forecast for FY 2019-20 to 7.2 per cent from 7.4 per cent that was projected in the February policy review. The Centre Statistical Office or CSO had also revised its advance GDP forecast to 7 per cent from 7.2 per cent for the just ended 2018-19. It had also cut the GAV or gross value added growth to 6.8 per cent from 6.9 per cent. The MPC, according to the Governor, noted: "With the output gap remaining negative and domestic economy facing head- winds, especially on the global front the need is to strengthen domestic growth impulses by spurring investment which remained sluggish. Against this backdrop the MPC decided to lower the repo rate." The minutes of discussion at the MPC meeting are likely to be released by 18 April. He also underlined concern about signs of domestic investment weakening as has been reflected in slowdown in production activity and imports of capital goods. Considering the benign policy tone, analysts and bankers expect another repo rate cut in 2019 ~ if not in June then in August ~ when the new government will be in place and the full Budget for the current FY is presented to the new Parliament. Considering all upside and downside factors such as the latest Skymet forecast of below average monsoon in the months ahead, the MPC pointed out that the consumer price index inflation or CPI in February touched a four-month high of 2.6 per cent due to uptick in prices of items excluding food and fuel and weaker momentum of deflation in the food group. The Governor, however, contested the Skymet forecast and cited monsoon prediction released by Australia that claims the monsoon as normal or slightly above average. The inflation depends on a myriad factors, he added. Considering a normal monsoon, MCP's projection of CPI for H1 2019-20 is 2.9 per cent to 3 per cent and for H2 at 3.3 per cent to 3.8 per cent. For Q4 (January-March 2018-19) CPI is estimated at 2.4 per cent. The most significant takeaway from today's policy was the RBI Governor's response to the recent Supreme Court verdict that quashed the "12 February" circular of the central bank which made it mandatory for lenders/banks to initiate debt recovery process under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code against borrower who failed to service their borrowings of Rs 2,000 crore and above. Mr Das said the central bank respects the SC verdict but at the same time spoke of issuing a fresh circular to facilitate speedy debt GuNG-hO kNIGhTS NOw REAdy fOR SOuThERN SORTIE Rupee loses 76 p vs dollar MuMbai, 4 april Halting its three-day rise, the rupee plunged 76 paise today to close at 69.17 against the US dollar after the RBI cut key interest rate but kept its monetary policy stance "neutral". In its first bi-monthly policy review for this financial year, the central bank slashed the policy rate by 0.25 per cent for the second time in a row, following which the rupee and sovereign bond prices tumbled. At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market, the domestic currency opened lower at 68.56 per dollar and fell further to touch the day's low of 69.21. It finally settled at 69.17, down 76 paise over its previous close. The rupee had surged by 33 paise to 68.41 against the US dollar yesterday. “Rupee and sovereign bond tumbled after participants perceived the policy as less dovish than expected...the yield on the benchmark 10-year bond was up 6 basis points to 7.34 per cent,” said Mr V K Sharma, head PCG and capital markets strategy, HDFC Securities. pti recovery. The Governor's contention is that the SC has not struck section 35(A) (a) of Banking Regulation Act or BRA that empowers RBI to issue such directives. "The validity of the relevant section remains which means the central bank's power to issue a modified circular is not hurt." He, however, declined to state when the fresh circular will be issued and its likely framework. Markets remain depressed despite RBI rate cut, page 8 P12 SILVER 37,400.00 00.00 BRENT CRudE (IN $) 69.67 +0.36 EC to take final call on Modi biopic today pRESS TRuST of INdIA New Delhi, 4 april The Election Commission said it will take a final call on the release of a Hindi biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, as Opposition raised the pitch for deferring the release of the film by citing poll code violation. We have sought comments from the producer of the movie and also from BJP's general secretary...that also has been received. The file is under examination and it has been listed for tomorrow (before the EC), Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena told reporters here on Thursday. The Commission will take a final call tomorrow, he said.
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