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Inflation: Govt has higher stakes than RBI, says CM

Vinson Kurian
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Oommen Chandy, Kerala Chief Minister.
Oommen Chandy, Kerala Chief Minister.

This is what Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had to say at a function hosting an invited lecture featuring the Reserve Bank Governor D. Subbarao here recently.

POLICY DILEMMA

The topic was ‘India in a globalised world: some policy dilemma.’ The lecture was organised by the Kerala State Planning Board.

The topic of the talk was relevant in the context of high inflation and the need for sustainable growth, the Chief Minister said. It’s a phase of recession disguised as a slowdown now; prevailing global conditions represent it best.

Explaining, he said that China’s GDP has contracted by two percentage points. The Euro zone is in a state of siege. Unemployment in the US is at a stubborn eight per cent even as growth lags.

The impact of all this is slightly magnified for Kerala, thanks to its level of integration with the rest of the world and increased interface through the non-resident diaspora. He digressed from the written speech to announce that he and his team of officials have had a fruitful exchange of ideas with the visiting Reserve Bank Governor.

The State brought forth its concerns over issues concerned with education loans as also agricultural credit.

The Chief Minister said the Governor was gracious enough to lend an attentive ear and had promised to look at these issues sympathetically.

Speaking on the occasion, K.M. Chandrasekhar, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Board, said this was second in the series of lectures organised by the board. A couple of months, it had hosted Saumitra Chaudhury, leading economist and member of the Prime Minister’s economic advisory council.

POLICYMAKING

The intention was to bring policymakers and those who are close to making policies to come to the state and explain the policies and how to go about making them.

This is expected to help us come to terms with ‘things shaping within India and abroad’ so our own skills could be honed to better perfection.

Chandrasekhar said that low growth, low investments, low confidence versus high savings, high inflation and high fiscal deficit create a lot of policy dilemmas.

“This calls for different objectives of management and control that the Reserve Bank and Government of India would have to pursue,” he added.

vinson.kurian@

thehindu.co.in


It’s a phase of recession disguised as a slowdown now; prevailing global conditions represent it best.


(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 20, 2012)
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