In March 2020, global crude oil prices decreased to about 40%. This means that a barrel of oil costs just $25 now. This came as a result of failed talks of production cut between OPEC and Russia. This led to Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of oil, launching a price war. While many may see this as a disadvantage, for India it is an opportunity to fill up its strategic reserve. The government had decided to buy oil worth Rs.5,000 crore at the current price of around $30 per barrel for deliveries starting in April-May. However, this opportunity does not allow the Indian economy to gain full potential as it has come amid the coronavirus outbreak that has halted most of the economic activities in the country.
In India, the market prices are dictated by demand and supply. However, it is affected by sporadic cases of hoarding, extreme weather events, natural calamities, etc. Hence the government is empowered by certain laws like the Essential Commodities Act- to intervene to protect the consumers’ interest. The government used the EC Act to ensure rational pricing and prevent hoarding of hand sanitizers and masks- basic necessities for tackling the COVID-19 crisis. It has been used by the government over the years to protect consumers in times of shortages. This law has also seen several amendments over the years- seeing a trend of becoming increasingly stringent in its provisions. However, the Union Cabinet approved an ordinance to amend the 1955 Act- relaxing some of its provisions.
For the first time since the Great Depression, both advanced economies and developing economies are facing recession due to COVID-19 …
The Reserve Bank of India on 6th February 2020, had released the 6th Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2020. After looking into the current macroeconomic situation, RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee had decided not to change the policy repo rate, which is at 5.15%, in accordance with its plan to maintain the accommodative stance until the economic growth is revived, and the inflation rate is within the target. Apart from this, several other steps were taken by the MPC to boost economic growth and demand. The accommodative stance taken by the RBI is a step in the right direction as it can support economic growth and reduce inflation exponentially.
After its brief stint as the world’s fastest-growing economy, India’s economic growth has been slowing to all-time lows. Crisil had forecasted India’s GDP growth to be 6.3% for the fiscal year 2020. Earlier it forecasted it to be 6.9%. This comes after the GDP growth rate was at its slowest in almost 6 years. Earlier, Moody too had forecasted economic slowdown by 6.2%. From these current data, it is obvious that the Indian economy is currently facing crisis due to a combination of factors such as increased unemployment rate, rural distress, liquidity crunch, etc.
Automobile sales in India saw a steep decline in July this year. The automobile sector is currently facing prolonged demand slowdown for the past 12 months. This had cost at least 15, 000 job losses within 2-3 months, during the period when India is facing an unemployment crisis and overall economic slowdown.
For the first time in history, Indian rupee fallen into a record low of Rs. 70 against USD on 14 August 2018. This sudden depreciation was also seen in other currencies of emerging markets…