DOLLAR AND THE RUPEE
Gist of the Talk delivered by Shri Ratnakar Deole, Ex-Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India at the Meeting held on 4 September 2013
At the outset let me thank the organizers for inviting me this evening amongst you all to share my thoughts on the current burning topic of Rupee depreciating against US DollarThis is a very complex subject and cannot be handled in such a short time.But for the benefit of Non-Finance and Non-Bank people I will try to make it as simple as possible. I will take care to ensure that I don’t spoil your beautiful evening ahead. Let me begin by sharing a which is in circulation on Internet2004 MMS – Dollar was equal to Rahul ‘s Age ---------------------------------------------------------------------------For this brief session, I have structured my Talk to cover 4 important Questions which I think must be agitating your mind .1 Why Dollar is so very important to everybody in the World ?2 Why Rupee is depreciating against dollar ?3 Who would benefit from Rupee depreciation ? and4 Who would be most affected by this Rupee Depreciation ?To answer the first Question why there is so much craze for Dollar I will have to tell you little bit about the American Economy1) USA is 3 times bigger than India and the population is only 1/3 One-Third of India 98 Lac Sq K.M. – Less than 32 Crore P—India 33 lac Sq KM.—121 Crore people2) USA is a Capitalist Mixed Economy with abundant natural Resources, excellent Infrastructure with highest productivity3) The GDP of USA is about 16.62 Trillion Dollars constituting almost 25 % of the World GDP.4) USA is the Biggest Exporter in the World –USA is the largest Importer .Its Major 5 Trading Partners are –China, Japan, Canada, Germany & Mexico5) There is a huge amount US Dollars in ciculation on our planet.6) 2 / 3 rd. of World’s Currency Reserves are held in US Dollars7) Many countries use US Dollar as their currency8) 60 to 70 % of the world’s International Trade is done in US DollarsIt is for this reason that there is so much attraction or craze for Dollar all over the world.9) USA is the third largest producer of Oil in the world and also it is the largest Importer of Oil.10) USA is the largest consumer of oil. 91 % of US population use their own private transport . Only 9 % of its population use public transport. Per capita consumption of oil and Gas is 7.8 Tons per year.11) USA is importing huge petroleum and using it for making Power. 40 % of its energy is produced from petroleum.23 % from Coal, 23 % from Nuclear and remaining is Hydro power.12) USA is the largest producer Corn, Soyabeen and other pulses and oilseeds which all countries in the world are importing..13) USA has been a leader in scientific research and technological innovations since 19 the Century.74 % of funding for Research comes from Private Sector. Some Examples :-i) In 1876 –Alexander Graham Bell got his first patent for telephone,ii) Thomas Edisson developed first electric bulbiii) Henry Ford and Ranson Olds developed first Car assembly lineiv) Wright Brothers developed first Aeroplanev) Apple, IBM Computers and Microsoft refined and popularized Computers all over the world.vi) USA first developed first APRANET for military use and now ii has become INTERNET.vii) Many Eropean Scientisits like Albert Eienstine , Emerico, John Neumann and many others migrated to USAviii) Manhattan Project developed Nuclear weapons and made a beginning of Atomic Age and Space Age.ix) USA ‘s Military spending per year is 800 Billon Dollars i.e.41 % of total Global military spending or equal to total of 14 largest Nations. It is nearly 4.7 % of total GDPI think this much is enough to appreciate WHY all countries in the world acknowledge USA as a Super Economic Power and Super Military Power and that is why Dollar is the most powerful currency in the world.CRISIS of 2007—American Economy took a DOWNTURN following Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis and consequent losses suffered by Mutual Funds, Pension Funds , Provident Funds leading to failure of big big banks.This crisis in Real Estate was specific to USA and normally it should have confined to only USA . But the whole world was rocked.. This led to loss of jobs and several people had to leave USA and go back to their own countries. This slow-down in US economy affected the whole world.US Govt. extended financial packages to banks and helped them to revive..Last 6 months there are reports that the US Economy is improving and the Unemloyment Rate which had crossed 13 % has come down to 7 %.This is an indication that US Economy is on Recovery PathAnd that is Why US Dollar is appreciatingNow let us Rupee –Dollar Relation1) On 15 August 1947 The Exchange Rate of Dollar to Rupee was 1for 1 i.e.One Dollar equal to one Rupee.2) When India got Independence There was not a Single Dollar or Single Pound External Debt on India. But today India has External Debt of 376 Billion US Dollars on its head. That amount is roughly about Rs.23 Lac Crores.3) From 1951 when India embarked upon its First Five Plan India started borrowing from World Bank,IMF and USA4) Indian Govt. devalued Indian Rupee as per their conditions and the trend continued.5) War of 1962 with China and war of 1965 with Pakistan forced India to buy war materials like fighter planes, Tanks and other weapons etc. from USA and at that time Dollar was Rs.7.54 rs.6) By 1970 US Dollar became stronger against all currencies due to alround economic growth in USA and Indian Rupee depreciated from Rs.7.54 per Dollar to Rs.12.36 per Dollar and then to Rs.17.50 per Dollar7) War of 1971 with Pakistan and creation of Bangle Desh affected India’s economy8) Then there is a story of 1990-1991 Forex crisis faced by India. During that year India’s Forex Reserves depleted to such a low level that it was just enough to meet only 3 week’s Imports and India was at a point of Default.9) To meet this unprecedented crisis India had to borrow from IMF by pledging 67 Tons of Physical Gold to get a line of Credit .10) IMF put lot of conditions for the Loan like economic Reforms –Then came policies of Liberalization, Privatization, Globalization.Now why Indian Rupee is Depreciating ?This is purely arithmetic of Demand and Supply. India’s Demand for Dollar is much more than Supply of Dollara) Our Imports are increasing and Exports are not increasing but rather decreasing and there is a Current Account Deficit.b) CAD –Current Account Deficit represents difference between India’s Import of Goods and Services and its Export of goods and services plus the Remittances by NRIc) India does not earn enough Forex to pay for its Importsd) Uptill now we were able to manage the difference by incoming foreign direct investments from FIIs.e) Till July Our Imports were to the tune of 550 billion Dollars and Exports were to the tune of about 309 Bn.Dollarsf) To meet this Gap we have to either Reduce our Imports or increase our Exportsg) Our Imports are large because of our large population and so large requirementsh) Exports are not increasing because of several factors like low level of production due to various factors like shortage of power, gas,coal, water and other infrastructure, delay in clearances and lack of supportive policies by the govt or so called Policy paralysis.i) F I Is are withdrawing their investments to avoid further losses and New Investments are not coming because of fear of political instability, message of Retrospective Taxation and lack of supportive policies.j)What are our Imports ? Let us look at what we import .OIL Nearly 75 to 80 % of our imports is Oil ( Brent Crude ),a) International prices of oil is continuously on riseb) Now again with the fear of war in Syria Prices may further go up.c) Every one Rupee depreciation against Dollar India’s Oil bill goes up by Rs 8000 Crores. During last One month Rupee depreciated by Rs.10 say from 58 to 68 That means our oil bill has increased by 80000 crores.d) Our local demand for oil is Never ending. New new cars are entering market everyday .There are cars and cars every where around but no Roads. Reason could be lack of cheap and efficient Public Transport . There is no sign that this position will improve in the near future. That is why people prefer to have their own vehicle. Therefore, demand for oil is Never ending.GOLDa) Second most important item of Import is Gold.b) India is not producing even ONE GRAM of Gold but imported 1072 Tons of Gold last year. We are the largest importer of Gold in the world by paying Dollarsc) In 1999 the value of gold imported was Rs 17991 Crores and in 2012 we have imported Gold worth Rs.2,69, 563 Crores.d) Govt. stock of Gold is about 360 Metric Tons. Private holdingof Gold in India is estimated to be around 35 k to 40 k MTe) Gold held by Padmanabha temple in Kerala is yet to be accounted for..It is estimated to be worth around 2.2 Bn.Dollars.f) Indians buy Gold traditionally as investment and hedge against Inflation .g) There are no avenues in the Rural area for investments. No Share market ,No Mutual funds . Not much scope for Real Estate . Therefore, Gold is considered as best investment because Gold is Most Liquid Asset. That is why in India even in a smallest village you may not find a Ration shop but you will definitely find a Jewelry shop and at least one Money Lender (Saukar)h) When there is ONE % increase in Income, Trade in Gold goes goes up by 1.5%i) It is estimated that Gold in India if sold in the international market, it will take care of our Oil Bill for 5 years.ELECTRONICS There is now craze for I phones, I-pads, laptops which are notmade in India . UP Govt imported 5 lac Laptops for freedistributors to Voters as Election promise..EXPORTS a) Our exports are textiles, engineering goods ,leather, goods etc.Some how our EXPORTS are not matching Imports .That is why there is huge Current Account Deficit .We are not able to attract foreign Investments And there is no sign of improvement in the near future and therefore Rupee is DepreciatingIMPACT - of Rupee DepreciationPositive –Who would benefit by Rupee Depreciation ?a) Exporters will benefit because they will get more Rupeesb) IT Companies who have got their Contracts signed in Dollar Terms will get more Rupees when they receive the payment. TCS ,Infosys,Wipro Shares are doing very well .c) NRIs who send remittances for investment or for maintenance of their parents/relatives will get more Rupees for the same amount of DollarNegative – Impacta) Oil Companies will have to pay more rupees to get same amount of Dollarsb) Indian Companies who taken loans from abroad under ECB or other arrangements will have to pay more rupees for the same amount of Foreign Debt and for payment of installment / interestc) Those who have sent their children abroad for education will have to pay more rupees for the same amount of Dollars to be remitted for their course fees, maintenance, lodging ,boarding, Laundry, hostel charges etc.d) International Travel will become costly. Those Indian Tourists who are planning their tours abroad will have to pay more for their expenses abroad.e) FMCGs who use imported materials in their product like cosmetics,
creams, shampoos will increase their prices.f) Multi National Kitchen chains like McDonalds, KFC, Subway who import Kitchen Equipments will increase their prices.g) All fancy gadgets like Mobile phones, Apple Phones, I-Phones, I-pads, Laptops will become costly.h) Prices of imported Chemicals and fertilizers used by farmers will become costly so also the final product.i) Lot of pulses and oilseeds are imported by India will become costlier.Therefore , who will be most affected by Rupee Depreciation it will be the common Man who does not deal with Dollar who has not seen even One Dollar Note will be MOST affected guy by rupee Depreciation.It is very simple. To bridge the Gap between Import and Export Govt. will require more Rupees to buy same amount of Dollars and from where these Extra Rupees will come ?Govt. will have to increase the taxes and prices of petrol, diesel and gas .And when prices of diesel and Petrol goes, cost of movement of essential commodities also go up which will lead to high Inflation.Now Where do we go from here ? There is a fear that the International Credit Agencies will downgrade India which will send wrong and negative signals to Foreign Investors and therefore they will be discouraged from investing in India – so new Dollar investment will not come. There is a fear WAR in Syria .Therefore, I will not be surprised if the joke that Dollar will touch Age of -------------- does not come TRUE.Thank you for your patience. I hope I have not spoiled your evening.