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Risk of US hiking rates drowns rupee

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Mumbai: The Indian rupee plunged to a new two-year low of Rs.65.69 to a dollar during intra-day trade on the foreign exchange markets on Thursday following apprehensions of a US interest rate hike and the continuing slide in the Chinese markets.

The rupee, however, later gained strength and closed the day’s trade at Rs.65.56 to a dollar.

Thursday’s intra-day fall mirrors the currency’s movements on Wednesday — when it had hit a fresh two-year low at Rs.65.44 to a US dollar.
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According to analysts, the rupee was impacted by the possibility of US raising its interest rate after a decade of easy financing.

The intent was made clear by the minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meet which was held on July 28-29.

Higher interest rates in the US are expected to lead the FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India.

The other major catalyst for the rupee’s fall has been the devaluation of yuan, intended to boost Chinese exports and arrest the fall in the Chinese markets by pumping up the economy.

“Today, the Chinese markets continued their downward movement despite various measures taken by the government there. This shows that the problem is deep rooted and the impact might be much greater,” Anand James, co-head, technical research, Geojit BNP Paribas, told IANS.

Though unrelated, the stock market crash can prompt China’s central bank to further devalue yuan to propel the domestic economy.

The People’s Bank of China had devalued yuan by two percent on August 11. This was the biggest devaluation in the Chinese currency since 1994.

The currency fell again dropped by two percent on August 12 panicking the world economy.

The attempt is viewed as a tack-tick to corner the international export markets from other emerging trading powers such as India and the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) grouping.

The move has strengthened the dollar value, which has negatively impacted major world currencies including the Indian rupee.

The yuan has fallen by 4.6 percent till now since August 11.

(IANS)

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India: Government Aims to Increase Present $2.7 Trillion Economy to $5 Trillion by 2025

The middle class literally wailed when the petrol prices shot up by Rs 2.50 per litre, diesel prices hiked up by Rs 2.30 per litre

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India, Government, Economy
Instead of making US dollar a bench mark of aspirational currency, why not work on making Indian Rupee stronger? PIxabay

The moment after the “bahikhaata” Union Budget was presented on Friday, people took to social media platforms that erupted with angry and perplexed reactions.

“Your folder is sanskaari, symbolising ‘departure from slavery of western thought’, but your aspirations are 3 trillion ‘US DOLLARS’ economy, huh hypocrite!” tweeted a user.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government aims to increase the present $2.7 trillion economy to $5 trillion by 2025.

“Instead of making US dollar a bench mark of aspirational currency, why not work on making Indian Rupee stronger?” another user posted.

India, Government, Economy
The moment after the “bahikhaata” Union Budget was presented on Friday, people took to social media platforms. Pixabay

Another social media user shared the lines from an old song: “Achcha sila diya tune mere pyar ka”.

The middle class literally wailed when the petrol prices shot up by Rs 2.50 per litre, diesel prices hiked up by Rs 2.30 per litre just hours after the union budget was presented.

“This has been one of the poorest budgets for common honest tax payer and middle class. You are bound to lose many supporters,” a user wrote in reply to former finance minister Arun Jaitley’s tweet on the budget.

“Petrol prices, diesel prices higher. What are the benefits for honest tax payers? What is the tax benefit, pension benefit, gratuity amount holding by corporate companies?? You really care for honest people (Salaried)?” another person tweeted.

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The budget also announced that for I-T returns, PAN and Aadhaar cards would be made interchangeable to help tax payers file their returns.

“So ‘PAN and Aadhaar will become interchangeable’ is somehow a tax benefit to middle-class Indians? So, you first introduce a problem, and then increase the problem, make it more complicated, and then reduce it again (but still keep it confusing) – that somehow becomes a benefit?” a user questioned the decision.

“PAN and Aadhaar interchangeable will not help middle class,” another user tweeted.

People also criticised that the issue of unemployment was not addressed seriously.

India, Government, Economy
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government aims to increase the present $2.7 trillion economy to $5 trillion. Pixabay

“Hopeless budget 2019… no help or news for unemployment,” a tweet said.

The millennials, however, had some fun with the budget.

“So, the budget has been declared, still there is no announcement on subsidy for annual subscription of Netflix, Prime and Hotstar. Is this the India we want to live in?” posted a Twitter user.

The funny memes also kept circulating.

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Depicting the “before budget” and “after budget” feelings, a meme showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi first sitting on a rock, and then lying down flat on the rock.

The images and videos of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi looking blank and later dozing off went viral. (IANS)