State polls driving Rs 60,000 crore surge in cash circulation: Rajan | assembly-elections | Hindustan Times
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State polls driving Rs 60,000 crore surge in cash circulation: Rajan

As per the latest data released by RBI, there was a 48% increase in the currency in circulation at Rs 2 trillion for the fortnight ended March 18. This has led to speculations about the reasons, leading to calls for a need to keep a tab on cash circulation.

assembly elections Updated: Apr 06, 2016 00:54 IST
HT Correspondent
Rajan

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Tuesday that money in people’s hands has gone up by over Rs 60,000 crore which is “not normal” and needs to be looked into.(AP Photo)

Liquidity assumed a different significance on Tuesday when at the post-policy press conference, Rajan talked about a sudden rise in cash circulation during the ongoing state elections.

Mentioning about the trend, the RBI governor said money in people’s hands went up by over Rs 60,000 crore and that it needs to be looked into. “Around election time, cash with the public does normally increase... You can guess as to reasons why, we can also guess,” the governor, known for his plain speaking, told reporters.

It is an open secret that during elections in India, political parties induce voters through gifts that typically include cash and liquor. “You see some (spike) not just in the states going to elections, but also in neighboring states. That is something... We need to understand it better,” said Rajan.

Election process is currently underway in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry. Out of these, Assam and West Bengal had the first phase of polling on Monday.

According to RBI data, there has been a 48% increase in currency in circulation at Rs 2 lakh crore for the fortnight ended March 18. Incidentally, during the same period, growth in bank deposits fell below 10%, to 9.9%, a 53-year low, while advances perked up.

“Deposit rates at 9.9% is not something that one must be sneezed at. This is a healthy growth trend,” Rajan said.