According to Indian central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), foreign direct investments for the period April-July 2008 stood at $12.32 billion. This compares with foreign direct investments of just $5.70 billion recorded for the same period last year. Clearly, structural reforms undertaken by the incumbent government, coupled with increased confidence in the India Story has contributed to this incredible y-o-y growth of over 100% in foreign direct investments. If the run-rate sustains, we may well end up experiencing the highest inflow of foreign direct investments ever. Last year was a record $32.43 billion. However, the more volatile foreign portfolio investments have been a sadly negative $4.67 billion for the period April-July 2008. This compares with a record year set last year, when foreign portfolio investments were $14.3 billion for the period April-July 2008. RBI records indicate that while fiscal deficit has improved, revenue deficit has slightly worsened, when compared to last year. The data also indicates that trade deficit may well widen this year, and this may potentially cause weaker balance of payments position.
Ofcourse, oil is a major import item for
But domestic demand fueled only by easy money has its own problems. M3 data, the broader indicator of money supply, indicates that money supply growth in
Is it time for the Indian central bank to stop excessive intervention in the forex market, and let the domestic currency on a more free float? I would argue on the affirmative, especially because (direct) investments continue to be buoyant. The challenge is for the government to push the pedal on structural reforms in such a way that it fosters not only investments, but also creates a healthy competition.