Financial Minister Nirmala Sitaraman on Crypto: RBI and Govt in Sync

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das reassured that the government and RBI are “on board” and will further discuss cryptocurrency internally. She and Das got candid at a press conference Monday, just after the annual post-Budget meeting, where she addressed the Central Board of Directors and resolved to work in complete harmony on the issue of “digital currency”.

Elaborating on their plan of cryptocurrency, FM Sitharaman said, “With RBI & Ministry, not just on crypto but on every other thing as well, I think there’s complete harmony with which we’re working, respecting each other’s domain also knowing what we’ve to do with each other’s priorities and in the interest of the nation. So there’s no turfing here.”

Another highlight of the conference was the up and coming initial public offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC). They expressed hope on the government’s decision to sell its 5 per cent equity, the LIC.

Speaking on the IPO set to be the biggest one in the Indian market, Sitaraman said, “A big decision like this is never a knee-jerk reaction. It is done with consciousness … And I can see after the announcement, the reception, there is a buzz in the air,” Sitharaman said. On Sunday, LIC filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the markets regulator.

In a financial scene dominated by politically charged international relations, resulting in the ever-rising crude oil, the concern was raised as RBI projected an inflation rate of 4.5% for 2022-23. To add to that, the crude oil prices touched $95 per barrel at the conference on Monday.

To this, Das reaffirmed the scope of the projection. “As far as India is concerned, if you look at the momentum of inflation right from last October onward, it is on a downward slope. It’s primarily the statistical reasons, the base effect, which has resulted in higher inflation, especially in Q3”, he said.

“The same base effect will play in different ways in the coming months. Today’s inflation print is expected to be close to 6%. That should not surprise or create any alarm because we have considered that,” he added.

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Roopashi Semalty
Roopashi Semalty

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