As expected, the RBI has kept policy rates unchanged. What dulled the market was the absence of the anticipated accommodative stance from the RBI Governor. Just a week earlier, the government’s determined fiscal rectitude, coupled with the sub 4 per cent core inflation in December, had perhaps disproportionately enthused the bourses which chose to overlook the unforgiving food inflation. Good that RBI has stayed focussed on its target of 4.5 per cent headline inflation by 2025. With elections coming and uncertainty over the monsoon, the government would stand reassured over securing a firm grip on food inflation.
The right move
Kudos to RBI for maintaining status quo and keeping all policy rates unchanged. No doubt this policy announcement in the midst of continuing global uncertainties is not only encouraging but also reflect domestic political stability and economic resilience. The rationalisation of interest rates policy, expected to cover various charges, and introduction of measures to bring in a level-playing field among various financial institutions, including fintechs, are welcome steps.
With reference to ‘Rlys on net zero track’ (February 8), the Railways is taking big strides in environmental sustainability. The plan to complete the remaining 4 per cent to reach 100 per cent electrification is commendable. The annual saving of close to ₹15,000 crore towards fuel is noteworthy. The vast vacant space available in rural and semi-urban areas and the rooftop of the platforms must be exploited in generating clean power.
With public money being spent on development works, every panchayat and municipality is duty-bound to ensure that rigorous quality control standards are not bypassed. A successful project is one that can achieve a balance between cost, time, quality, and meets the agreed goals of the project. This can only be achieved with accountability and zero tolerance to corruption.
It is heartening to note that Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) of the Central government not only provides houses to rural women, but also guarantees security for them. That the government has proposed to build two crore more houses in rural India is laudable.