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Rupee to remain volatile in the midst of Greek crisis, says Arvind Subramanian

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Indian government on Monday said it was closely monitoring the Greek situation and euro market movements after austerity proposals by creditors being rejeted in a referendum posed the possibility of the country’s exit from the euro zone, while the rupee may be affected due to the outward flight of investment.

“In these situations what mostly happens is there is flight to dollars, to a safe haven. Rupee might also be affected by that. But nothing gets unusual at all so far,” Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian told reporters here.

“This is a drama which is going to play out for some time. We are well protected in at least three ways. Our macro-economic situation is much more stable. We have reserves. We are an economy which is still a very attractive investment destination. So I think we are relatively well insulated,” he said.

“As for the crisis itself, it is going to going to be long and prolonged,” he added.

Over 61 percent of Greeks voted “no” on Sunday, responding overwhelmingly to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ calls to reject a proposal by the country’s creditors for more austerity in exchange for a financial bailout.

On possible impact of the crisis on Indian economy, Subramanian said that as the crisis plays out, “financial markets are going to be volatile. Both the ECB (European Central Bank) and Fed (US Federal Reserve) will take this into account”.

“We will have to see how the euro moves now. We are closely monitoring the Greek situation. There could be some reaction on the Fed rate hike,” Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said.

He had last week expressed apprehension that if yields on euro bonds go up, it might impact inflows and outflows from India.

Indian industry feels that if a crisis developed for Europe due to Greece, India too could feel the tremors like the rest of the world.

What is worrying is that the overall situation with regard to India’s merchandise exports does not look promising this year and the troubles in Europe could only deteriorate the prospects,” the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said in a statement here.

“There is a need for RBI and the finance ministry to keep a close eye on the muddy global situation and its possible effect on India’s capital flows and the currency movement,” it added.

India’s merchandise exports continued to decline for the second month this fiscal, down by over 20 percent at $22.35 billion in May from $27.99 billion in the same month of the previous year, official data showed last month.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has warned that the continuing decline in exports would result in layoffs, besides putting pressure on the current account deficit (CAD).

FIEO president S.C. Ralhan also agreed with RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s recent remarks that the central banks globally were at risk of slipping into the kind of beggar-thy-neighbour strategies, leading to the Great Depression of the 1930s again.

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PhonePe Restored to Normalcy After Service Outage

PhonePe transactions back to normal after Yes Bank fiasco

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As the Yes Bank fiasco hit UPI-based transactions last week, PhonePe employees had to work for 36 hours due to service outage. IANS

As the Yes Bank fiasco hit UPI-based transactions last week, PhonePe that was solely using Yes Bank’s services worked overnight with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and ICICI bank to ensure all its services were up and running within a day.

PhonePe, with close to 20 crore users, saw an extended service outage, which started immediately after the RBI moratorium on Yes Bank on March 5, lasting for nearly 24 hours. The company worked with the NPCI and ICICI bank, its new UPI partner.

All merchant payment settlements were restored by Friday noon and all consumer wallet, credit and debit card payments were restored by 3 pm, the company said in a statement. All UPI services were restored by Friday night, with PhonePe users continuing to use their UPI @ybl handles.

“Friday was an extraordinarily difficult situation with little precedence. We are grateful to the RBI, NPCI, Yes Bank, and ICICI for working collectively to ensure that millions of our customers and merchants were not inconvenienced a minute longer than necessary,” said Sameer Nigam, Founder and CEO PhonePe.

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PhonePe, with close to 20 crore users, saw an extended service outage, which started immediately after the RBI moratorium on Yes Bank on March 5. Wikimedia Commons

PhonePe employees had to work for 36 hours straight to achieve this. The platform processed transactions of over Rs 4,000 crore in 24 hours and saw its largest ever volume of user traffic in a single day (with over 70 million app sessions).

Several petrol pumps rejected most of the UPI-based transactions over the weekend, including Paytm, PhonePe, and GooglePay.

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Even BharatPe, which deploys QR codes at small merchant outlets, stopped functioning. Millions of users failed to make or receive payments because of curbs imposed on Yes Bank. (IANS)