Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam: Paper - III (General Studies – II) - 08 March 2019


Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam


UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-III: General Studies -II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)

Q. What is the generalized system of preference? How the recent decision of US would impact India-US trade relations?

Model Answer:

  • Introduction
  • Impact on Growth
  • Reasons for high interest rates
  • Conclusion

Introduction:

RBI’s tight monetary policy has kept real interest rates high, impacting investment flow and job creation.

  • Between January 2018 and January 2019, India’s consumer price inflation has fallen from 5.07 per cent to 2.05 per cent, year-on-year.
  • Yet, the State Bank of India’s MCLR or marginal cost of funds-based lending rate for three years has gone up from 8.10 per cent to 8.75 per cent.
  • ICICI Bank, likewise, has raised its MCLR for one year from 8.2 per cent to 8.8 per cent.
  • Even yields on 10-year government of India bonds have fallen only marginally from 7.67 per cent to 7.37, despite inflation sliding so sharply.

 Impact on Growth

  • We have today are very high “real” rates of interest.
  • If businesses are borrowings at not less than 9 per cent — micro, small and medium enterprises would obviously be paying much more — when inflation, whether based on the consumer or wholesale price index, is below 3 per cent, it is something serious.
  • During 2012-13 and 2013-14, consumer price inflation averaged 9.7 per cent, whereas benchmark prime lending rates ranged at 9.75-10.25 per cent.
  • Average consumer inflation has come down to 3.6 per cent in 2017-18 and 2018-19 (till January 2019).
  • High real interest rates for a prolonged period is why investments have slowed down and very few jobs are being created.

Reasons for high interest rates

  • The source of it has been the RBI’s tight monetary policy. 
  • A firm commitment to low inflation and macroeconomic stability helped restore investor confidencebadly dented during the loose fiscal and monetary policies.
  • But the tightening has gone on for too long.

Conclusion:

  • The RBI should cut itsovernight lending or “repo” rate in the next policy review meeting in April.
  • It can even go in for a 0.5 percentage point reduction, instead of the usual 25 basis points.
  • The central bank could alsoconsider more open market operations to bring down bond yields across all maturities. 
  • The government, too, should slash interest rates on the Employees Provident Fund, small savings and other administered schemes.

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