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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Jul 2014

Stable govt brightens recovery hopes in economy: RBI

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 26, 2014
First Published: 22:18 IST(26/6/2014) | Last Updated: 12:37 IST(27/6/2014)

A stable government has brightened prospects of India's economic recovery, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a report on Thursday, adding more steps were needed to stock up supplies to tame inflation.

The central bank's latest Financial Stability Report struck a note of caution about the deteriorating asset quality of state-owned banks amid concerns over high bad loans.

"Going forward, with the formation of a stable government, the prospects of recovery appear bright," the RBI said in the report. "However, supply side constraints need to be addressed to complement the RBI's efforts to contain inflation expectations."

"India's financial system remains stable, although public sector banks face challenges in coming quarters in terms of their capital needs, asset quality, profitability and more importantly, their governance and management processes," RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said.

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The Indian economy has grown at less than 5% for two successive years hit by high inflation and borrowing rates.

The Narendra Modi-led NDA rode to a landslide victory in the recent polls, but faces the challenge to deliver quickly on its electoral promises to cool inflation and revive the economy from a quarter-century slump.

"Markets expect more decisiveness in government policy formulation, as well as greater efficiency in implementation," Rajan said, and added that a predictable tax regime, low and stable inflation will be key to financial stability.

The government needs to spin jobs for tens of millions of restive hopefuls -  to fulfill its poll pledge of "aache din aane wale hain" (Good days are ahead) -while the elbow room in the treasury remains tight.

The RBI also underlined the need for fiscal consolidation. "The adverse growth-inflation setting obtained over the last two years which continue to affect saving investment dynamics, poses a major challenge. A strong push to implement policy is expected to provide the necessary impetus to the investment cycle," it added.

"While capital expenditure, mainly for developing infrastructure, is vital for growth, fiscal consolidation also remains a policy imperative. A greater role for private sector investment in capital-intensive sectors is warranted. Activity in domestic equity markets continued to be dominated by foreign institutional investors," it said.


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