How to lift the Rupee from its dumps..
Every news channel, every newspaper, every economist worth his/her salt has a panacea to stop the rupee tailspin and bring back some sanity. All, either shooting in the dark or vague, wishy-washy solutions – the TOI, the “world’s largest paper”, so the high priest of journalism grandly recently wrote the country needs ‘structural changes” without pinpointing what they are.
Amidst all these cacophony, only HT’s Chanakya (Sunday, 25/8/13) gives concrete steps that, to one, seem to work…
“This situation calls for a change in script. What we need are big bang measure that take effect immediately – as opposed to stpes that will begin to bear fruit six months later – to lift sentiment. Traditional monetary measures have failed and incremental steps to stop dollar outflows have proved counter-productive.
First, ban gold and silver imports (for, say, six to nine months). This will tell the world that India is serious about addressing its current account deficit problem. (Me: Gold import now attracts custom duty at about 30%. This won’t work, given an average Indian’s appetite for gold regardless of its price. By banning imports, the price in the country may further escalate.So what? Let the Indians be ready pay for it)
Raise petrol and diesel prices by Rs.4-5 per litre to help the government to pare its deficit.
Set aside $25-30 billion from India’s foreign exchange reserves to defend the rupee against speculators. (Me: This is a suggestion put forward by Montek Ahluwalia, the Dy. Planning Commission Chairman).
Settle the Vodafone tax case to signal to the world that their investments here will not be subject to whimsical and politically-motivated policy changes. (Me: absolutely spot-on. The proposal to tax Vodafone billions of dollars on their acquisition of the then cellphone brand, Hutch, from the Hongkong-based company was the single most important factor that stopped MNCs in their tracks from making further investments in the country. Our policy makers and/or the tax sleuths are singularly myopic)
Force real estate companies to cut prices to make housing affordable. This sector has linkages with more than 200 industries. And if it revives, it will set off a virtuous cycle by generating demand in hundreds of feeder industries. (Me: the real-estate companies have been exceedingly greedy and been jacking up prices every two months so much so flats have become unaffordable to middle-class buyers.)
Forget all above suggestions:
Now read few suggestions from me
1. Declare Economic Emergency
2. close all virtual markets trading in commodities, currencies. forex markets with immediate effect. No trading to be allowed for at least six months. Forex to be released to only genuine requirements.
3. Seal all foreign accounts of all the politicians and businessmen and declare the same as National property.
4. Declare death penalty for economic offences.
it would be much simpler than that if India brings back all the money stashed outside by politicians and businessman from foreign countries making Indian Rupee dearer and hard for them to save their own currencies. Will Mr PC or our great economist PM Shri MMS do it?