Possibility of currency wars risk to India’s growth: RBI Governor

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Mumbai, Aug 1 (IANS) The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday said that the possibility of global protectionist measures culminating into currency wars can hamper India’s growth prospects.

“We already had a few months of turbulence behind us and it looks like that this is likely to continue for how long I don’t know. But the trade skirmishes evolved into tariff wars and now we are possibly at the beginning of currency wars,” RBI Governor Urjit Patel said at a press conference after a meeting of its monetary policy committee.

“Given this we have to ensure that we run a tight ship on the risks that we control to maximise the chances of ensuring macro economic stability and continuing with the growth profile of 7 to 7.5 per cent going forward. We do have things that are in our favour and if we continue along that path we ensure that we don’t add to the global risk profile that would adversely affect us.”

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Lately, a slew of trade protectionist measures initiated by major economies led by the US has impacted international business sentiment and resulted in retaliatory tariff wars.

On July 7, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said global trade is passing through “challenging times” and the existence of World Trade Organisation (WTO) was under threat.

According to Patel, other risks such as higher crude oil prices and an upward inflation trajectory might also impede India’s growth rate which he expects to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018-19.

Patel’s cautionary note came after the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to raise the apex bank’s key benchmark lending rate by 25 basis point to 6.5 per cent in the third monetary policy review of 2018-19 on Wednesday.

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–IANS

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