Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan on Tuesday said the United States’ move to keep India on its currency manipulator watchlist is an intrusion into the policy space of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
“I personally don’t understand its rationale or economic logic,” he said.
“It is the mandate of the central bank to provide stability in the currency, as a result of which central banks buy and sell foreign currency. Our overall reserves have been fairly steady at $500-600 billion. We are not accumulating reserves. We have a steady pattern of reserves that fluctuates, based on market based transactions. The central bank’s activity in the foreign exchange market has been perfectly balanced and completely legitimate and within the accepted monetary policy mandate of the central banks across the world,” Wadhawan told reporters at a virtual briefing.
The commerce secretary said he expects robust growth in exports in FY22 despite the disruption caused by the second wave of Covid. “I am quite positive and hopeful that in 2021-22, we will be in solid positive territory,” he said.
Pawan Agarwal, special secretary in the logistics division of the ministry of commerce and industry, said the shortage of containers has been eased in the country. Agarwal said to improve availability of containers, India is looking at manufacturing containers domestically.
Meanwhile, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal chaired a meeting with various Export Promotion Councils to resolve the issues related to outbound shipments and urged them to set higher target for merchandise exports, to reach $400 billion, up 25 per cent YoY in 2021-22.
He said exports’ performance has been good during the first two weeks of April
An official present at the meeting said that localized lockdowns and curfew in major cities due to the second wave of the pandemic is unlikely to have a massive impact on the country’s outbound shipments as factories are up and running and deliveries are not yet halted.
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