India

Indian media: Concerns over economy

  • 16 July 2013
  • From the section India
Image caption The value of the Indian rupee has seen a sharp decline in the past few weeks

Media in India are expressing concern that the central bank's latest steps to arrest the rupee's fall may harm the economy in the long run.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday hiked the interest rate at which it lends money to other banks and also put a cap on their daily borrowings.

"The measure will make it unattractive for banks to borrow rupee (at cheap rates) and buy dollars (in the forward markets). This will reduce the pressure on the rupee," says the NDTV website.

"The measures will weigh on long-term interest rates because banks may hike deposit rates to attract cheap funds, but the step will (also) lead to higher interest rates driving up home and auto loan rates," it adds.

The Times of India says "the measures will cause collateral damage to the economy by pushing up short-term borrowing for companies by a couple of percentage points and cause huge losses for bond investors".

The Firstpost.com says the RBI's steps "could be termed the most unkind by industry at a time when the economy is staring at a potentially deflationary situation".

Experts also feel the move is likely to help the rupee recover but it may also harm the economy as liquidity will dry up.

"These will come at a heavy cost to the economy as short-end rates will rise and that will make borrowing costlier and affect growth if these measures continue for long," Reuters news agency quoted A Prasanna, economist at ICICI Securities Primary Dealership, as saying.

Meanwhile, political parties remain reluctant about coming under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) law, which allows Indians to access information held by the government.

Most political parties have missed the Central Information Commission's deadline to accept the RTI and appoint officers to answer questions sent by members of the public, says The Asian Age.

Menon honoured

The Deccan Chronicle and The Hindu have welcomed the British government's decision to honour India's first high commissioner to London, VK Krishna Menon, by unveiling an "English Heritage Blue Plaque" at the house where he lived in the city.

The Blue Plaques are meant to remember distinguished people who lived and worked in London.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has sought the government's response on a sharp rise in the number of motorists dying in road accidents caused by trucks carrying industrial material.

"The court... sought the response after a public litigation gave chilling details of thousands of motorists meeting gory deaths every year because of trucks and trailers parked without sufficient warning on highways, many carrying iron rods protruding out dangerously," The Times of India reports.

In sports, cricketing legend Rahul Dravid has told the Delhi police that he feels "cheated" by his Rajasthan Royals teammates S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, who are under investigation over allegations of spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament, the CNN-IBN website reports.

Dravid captained the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL's 2013 edition and played alongside the trio who have denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, national badminton champion Ashwini Ponappa has launched "Shuttle Express" - a school-level competition aimed at promoting the sport among children across the country, The Hindu reports.

And finally, Bangalore's "lonely-heart" entrepreneurs are all smiles after attending a dating event called the Bootstrap Love, The Indian Express reports.

The organisers say the event was planned to help entrepreneurs find like-minded people.

"Most partners do not get why bagging a customer is more exciting than going out for a candle-lit dinner, or why Sundays cannot always be off," one of the organisers said.

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