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RBI Working With Regulators For Better Security Lending Products, Says DG

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is currently working with other financial sector regulators like Sebi, PFRDA and Irda to develop an interest rate market

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This is broken as Rs 1,23,414 crore as surplus for year 2018-19 and another Rs 52,637 crore of excess provisions identified by the committee as per the revised Economic Capital Framework. Pixabay

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is currently working with other financial sector regulators like Sebi, PFRDA and Irda to develop an interest rate market where mutual funds, pension and insurance funds could participate in securities lending to deepen market based finance and develop an alternate to bank finance.

“IRDA, SEBI and PFRDA too could help development of interest rate markets. For instance, short selling activity could benefit if a wider pool of securities lenders can be developed.

“Insurance and pension funds, mutual funds have significant holdings of Government securities that could be used to lent to short sellers. This would avoid short-squeeze incident we saw a couple of years back, apart from generating income for these entities.

“We are working with regulators to develop a securities lending product that could enable these entities to participate in securities lending,” B.P. Kanungo, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India recently said at FIMMDA meeting in Moscow.

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Reserve Bank of India’s regional office at South Gandhi Maidan Marg, Patna. Wikimedia Commons

FIMMDA is a representative body of participants in the fixed income market in India.

He said the Indian financial sector which mostly has been a bank-based one needs to develop a robust fixed income market to bring in market discipline, to augment bank finance and indeed free up bank finance for uses that cannot access the market directly.

Development of the fixed income market has been an important objective of the Reserve Bank, the Government, the SEBI and other regulators these many years. Significant progress has been made, yet a lot remains to be achieved.

The Banking regulator is also currently looking at refurbishing some regulations on treatment of cash margins as deposits, payment of interest on such margins, posting of collateral abroad to enable participants to move to global margining standards.

“The risk management at market level is pretty robust, with central counterparty settlement, exchange traded products, trade repositories, legal entity identifier.

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But there is scope of improvement at entity-level as far as financial institutions are concerned, which will be tested with introduction of new accounting standards. Some other aspects of regulation – treatment of cash margins as deposits, payment of interest on such margins, posting of collateral abroad – are all under examination to enable participants to move to global margining standards.

Kanungo further said in the next five years the demand for bonds will significantly outstrip the supply.

“It is estimated that five years down the line, the demand for bonds will significantly outstrip the supply,” he said. (IANS)

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Measures To Boost Export and Housing Sector

With GDP growth sliding to six-year low of 5 per cent, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced a fresh set of measures to boost exports and the housing sector.

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Finance Ministry has abolished the import duty on open cell LED TV panels from 5 per cent to zero. Wikimedia Commons

With GDP growth sliding to six-year low of 5 per cent in April-June quarter and several sectors facing low demand, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced a fresh set of measures to boost exports and the housing sector.

The key measures include extending the scheme of Reimbursement of taxes and Duties for export promotion, fully automated electronic refund for Input Tax Credits (ITC) in GST, revised priority sector lending norms for exports and expanding the scope of Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS). An inter-ministerial working group has also been formed to monitor export finance.

Accordingly, the Scheme for Remission of duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP) was announced which will replace Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) for textiles. In effect, RoDTEP will more than adequately incentivise exporters than existing schemes put together.

Revenue foregone on this account is projected at up to Rs 50,000 crore.

Existing dispensation in textiles of MEIS plus old ROSL scheme will continue up to December 12, 2019. Textile and all other sectors which currently enjoy incentives upto 2 per cent over MEIS will transit into RoDTEP from January 1, 2020.

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There is concern about the speed and nature of the government and industry’s response, and will these actions turnaround things immediately, or not. Pixabay

Sitharaman also announced to reduce turnaround time for exports by leveraging technology and benchmarking it to Boston and Shanghai ports.

She said that priority sector lending norms for exports is being examined by the RBI and the guidelines will come out soon. Further, government will provide Rs 1,700 crore for export guarantees and to cut credit cost for the exporters.

The minister came out with several measures to prop up country’s housing sector which is considered one of the main job creators. Now, there would be relaxed ECB norms for housing sector. Further, interest on house building advance would be lowered by linking it with 10-year government securities.

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Sitharaman said that there would be special window for affordable and middle-income housing. Under this, a special window to provide last-mile funding for housing projects which are non-NCLT, non-NPA cases to complete unfinished projects. For this, a fund of Rs 10,000 crore would be contributed by the government and “roughly the same size by outside investors.”

The fresh set of measures to boost the economy has come in the wake of sinking business sentiment across the industry.

With most engines of growth stuttering, the Reserve Bank of India recently lowered its GDP forecast and pegged it at 6.9 per cent in 2019-20. Several rating agencies and research firms expect the growth to be in the range of 6.5-7 per cent.

Besides domestic consumption slowdown, the external factors remain adverse threatening to pull down the economy. A lingering US-China trade war and fears of a global recession could make things worse. (IANS)