May 25, 2023
THE INDIAN RUPEE HAS BEEN DEVALUED against the US dollar in recent years, even though the country has experienced considerable economic development under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Indian rupee depreciated over 11% in 2022 against the dollar—it’s poorest-ever performance since 2013—as the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary policy propelled the greenback. The rupee closed 2022 at 82.61 to the US dollar, down from 74.29 at end-2021, as the US currency headed for its biggest yearly gain since 2015.
The forex market volatility was prompted by a rally in global oil prices following Russia’s war in Ukraine. This led to the Reserve Bank of India frequently dipping into its reserves as imported inflation became a challenge for policymakers.
Several factors contributed to this trend:
- The global economic slowdown: The global economy has been growing at a slower pace in recent years, which has put a downward pressure on the value of currencies worldwide.
- A gradually rising trade deficit: India has a huge trade deficit, which means it imports more goods and services than it exports. This puts downward pressure on the value of the rupee, as it makes it more expensive for Indians to buy foreign goods and services leading to higher inflation. It has also made it more difficult for Indian companies to compete with foreign companies in international markets.
- An outflow of foreign investment: There has been a significant outflow of foreign investment from India in recent years. This is due to several factors—including concerns about the country’s economic growth prospects and the political climate.
- The weak domestic economy: The Indian economy has been growing at a slower pace in recent years, which has led to concerns about its long-term sustainability. This has also put downward pressure on the value of the rupee.
The Modi government has taken several steps to try to stabilize the rupee, including increasing foreign exchange reserves and imposing restrictions on capital outflows. However, these measures have had limited success. The devaluation of the rupee is likely to be a major challenge for the Indian economy in the years to come.
The devaluation of the rupee has had a number of negative consequences for the Indian economy. In addition to the factors mentioned above, there are many others that could contribute to the devaluation of the rupee in the future. These include:
- A rise in the prices of oil: India is a major importer of oil and a rise in oil prices would increase the country’s import bill and put downward pressure on the value of the rupee.
- Economic growth slowdown: A slowdown in economic growth would lead to a decline in demand for Indian goods and services, which would also put downward pressure on the value of the rupee.
- Political instability: Political instability could lead to capital outflows and a decline in investor confidence, which would also put downward pressure on the value of the rupee.
The devaluation of the rupee is a complex issue with many contributing factors. It is important to understand these factors in order to develop effective policies to address the problem.
BLACK MONEY, HAWALA MONEY
Black money and hawala money have further devalued the Indian rupee. Black money is unaccounted for income that is illegally earned and hidden from the government. Hawala money is a system of transferring money without using banks or other financial institutions. Both black money and hawala money are used to evade taxes and regulations and can have a negative impact on the economy.
Black money and hawala money can devalue the rupee in several ways. First, they can lead to inflation. When there is more money in circulation, the value of each rupee decreases. Second, black money and hawala money can make it difficult for the government to track the flow of money, which can make it more difficult to manage the economy. Third, black money and hawala money can be used to fund terrorism and other criminal activities.
The government has taken some steps to address the problem of black money and hawala money. In the 2016 demonetization drive, high-value currency notes were withdrawn from circulation. The government has also cracked down on hawala operators, making it more difficult to launder money. However, the problem of black money and hawala money remains a major challenge to the Indian economy.
Some negative effects of black money and hawala money on the economy:
- Reduced tax revenue: Black money is unaccounted for income, so the government does not collect taxes on it. This reduces the government’s revenue, which can lead to cuts in public spending.
- Increased inflation: When there is more money in circulation, the value of each rupee decreases. This can lead to inflation, which makes it more expensive for people to buy goods and services.
- Reduced investment: Black money can be used to fund investments in assets that are not productive, such as real estate and gold. This can reduce investment in productive sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing and agriculture.
- Increased inequality: Black money can be used to accumulate wealth, which can lead to increased inequality. This can have a negative impact on social and economic development.
- Funding of terrorism: Black money can be used to fund terrorism and other criminal activities. This can pose a threat to national security.
The government needs to take more steps to address the problem of black money and hawala money. It must strengthen enforcement of its laws on black money and hawala money, and make it more difficult for people to hide their income. The government also needs to promote transparency and accountability in the economy.