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RBI Still Battling Inflation

The central bank expects inflation to average 5.4% in 2023-24.

Mumbai:

India is not home-free with regards to the pressures of high prices but the moderation in retail inflation over the last two months is a relief, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in its November bulletin published on Thursday.

“We are not out of the woods yet and have miles to go, but (inflation) readings of around 5% and 4.9% in September and October, respectively, are a welcome relief from the average of 6.7% in 2022-23 and 7.1% in July-August 2023,” the RBI said in its ‘State of the Economy’ article in the bulletin.

India’s annual retail inflation eased to a four-month low of 4.87% in October but remained above the RBI’s 4% target. The central bank expects inflation to average 5.4% in 2023-24.

High-frequency food price data for this month up to Nov. 13 indicates that cereal and pulse prices have increased further, while edible oil prices continued to decline, the RBI said.

India’s growth continues to depend on domestic demand, which provides a cushion against external shocks, the RBI said.

The country’s external sector has remained viable, with a modest current account deficit financed by resilient capital flows, one of the least volatile currencies in the world and a “healthy” level of foreign exchange reserves, it said.

India’s economic growth has also picked up, the central bank said, noting the momentum of the change in gross domestic product is expected to be sequentially higher in October-December on the back of “ebullient” festival demand.

Investment demand also appears to be resilient given the government’s infrastructure spending, an uptick in private capex and digitalisation, among other reasons, the central bank said.

The RBI also said the calibrated normalisation of surplus liquidity and robust credit growth strengthened transmission during the current tightening phase, although the transmission is still not complete.

The transmission of rates to term deposits has been robust, while savings deposit rates have exhibited “rigidity,” the central bank said.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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He Is Innocent Nirav Modi Declares Innocence to UK Court [ad_1] <!– –>Nirav Modi was arrested on March 19, 2019, on an extradition warrant (File)London: Nirav Modi, the fugitive diamond merchant wanted in India to stand trial on fraud and money laundering charges, told a UK court on Thursday that he could be in England for years as some ongoing proceedings prevent his extradition.The 52-year-old former billionaire appeared for a hearing at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court in east London via video link from Thameside prison in relation legal costs, or fines, amounting to GBP 150,247.00, accrued over his failed extradition appeal proceedings in the London High Court.Dressed in a pink prison-issue outfit and sporting a moustache, a plump and bald Nirav Modi addressed the three-member magistrates’ bench to reveal that he had complied with the previous court direction to pay in GBP 10,000 per month towards the fines.”I am in prison on remand and remain un-convicted. I am here because of an extradition request from the Indian government,” Nirav Modi told the court, when asked for the reason behind his continued imprisonment.Questioned if he was aware of a timeframe for the extradition proceedings to be completed, he responded “unfortunately not”.”To clarify, I was arrested in mid-March for extradition. Some proceedings are still going on which stop my extradition to India… It is very likely I will be in England for a long time, could be three months, six months, could be years,” he said, as the court deliberated upon the length of adjournment.Taking note of the uncertainty, the case related to the unpaid fines was adjourned to February 8, 2024, when Nirav Modi would again be expected to appear via video link from prison.Meanwhile, the outstanding fines balance was confirmed as GBP 70,247, which the diamantaire said he intends to carry on paying towards to “reduce the balance” so as “not to be in contempt of court”.At an earlier hearing listed for the same court in September it emerged that Nirav Modi had been transferred out of HMP (His Majesty’s Prison) Wandsworth, one of the UK’s largest and most overcrowded prisons, to the privately-run HMP Thameside in south-east London.The news of the transfer came days after a major manhunt was launched after a terrorist suspect escaped Wandsworth prison in south-west London. The escape had raised serious questions around alleged understaffing and overcrowding at Wandsworth, where Nirav Modi had been lodged since his arrest on an extradition warrant in March 2019.Last year, Nirav Modi lost his legal battle in the highest UK court against being extradited to India in the estimated USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan scam case. But his case is now said to be “statute barred”, indicating further pending litigation which could be linked to a confidential asylum application.At the last procedural hearing in March this year, Barkingside Magistrates’ Court had granted his plea to be allowed to pay GBP 10,000 a month using borrowed funds after he told the court of his financial hardships due to his assets being frozen in India. This week’s hearing was scheduled as a review of that previous order.In December last year, a two-judge bench in the Royal Courts of Justice in London had refused Nirav Modi’s application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on suicide risk grounds and also refused his application to certify a point of law, which concluded his extradition appeal options in the UK courts.Nirav Modi was arrested on March 19, 2019, on an extradition warrant based on Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) charges against the businessman.There are three sets of criminal proceedings against the diamantaire in India – the CBI case of fraud on the PNB which caused losses equivalent to over GBP 700 million, the ED case relating to the alleged laundering of the proceeds of that fraud and a third set of criminal proceedings involving alleged interference with evidence and witnesses in the CBI proceedings.Then UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, had ordered Nirav Modi’s extradition based on Judge Sam Goozee’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruling in April 2021.¬†(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Waiting for response to load… [ad_2]

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