The government has finalised the list of non-essential
items on which it will be imposing import tariffs, according to a senior
official in the Finance Ministry.
The official said the list, to be notified soon, would
include electronics, gems, select items of steel that are also manufactured in
India, imported apples, and almonds, among others.
The government had, earlier this month, announced the
easing of overseas borrowing norms for manufacturing companies, removal of
restrictions on foreign portfolio investment in corporate bonds and tax benefits
on masala bonds.
The imposition of tariffs on the import of non-essential
items is expected to bolster these efforts in stabilising the rupee’s levels,
according to the official.
This prompted the Reserve Bank of India to announce
late on Monday, that it will conduct an open market operation (OMO) on
Thursday to purchase government bonds to infuse liquidity worth Rs. 10,000
crore into the system.
The IL&FS crisis had also impacted other non-banking
finance companies (NBFCs) which are also facing increase in borrowing cost.
Banks and mutual funds are the main sources of funding for housing finance
companies and other NBFCs contributing about 40% and 30%, respectively, of their
“While the lines of credit from banks are easier to roll
over and insurance provides longer [term] funding, the paper with mutual funds
tends to be short-term. Fifty-five per cent of NBFC paper with MFs has less than
90-day maturities and could lead to redemption related pressures,” broking firm
CLSA said in a note.
With MFs becoming a key source of short-term liquidity,
estimates suggest that the CPs of NBFCs have gone up three times since March
2016 and MFs now reportedly hold 60% of total NBFC CP issuance. Even if rating
agencies have reaffirmed the NBFC ratings, MFs are expected to cap or cut down
their NBFC exposures.
Much to the surprise of his critics and political
rivals, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen on Monday conceded defeat in
Sunday’s presidential election, making way for the joint Opposition
candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Senior parliamentarian of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)
Mr.Solih secured 58.3% of the votes, while Mr.Yameen obtained 41.7%, according
to preliminary results released by the Elections Commission. The final tally is
expected within a week.
Countries that had strained relations with the Yameen
administration were quick to welcome the poll outcome on Monday, before
Mr.Yameen conceded and ahead of the Elections Commission’s official
announcement. The U.S. said it looked forward to “a peaceful transition of
power,” and pledged cooperation to Mr.Solih’s government.
Meanwhile,A Maldives court released political prisoners
and heard appeals for freedom from several others on Monday, including former
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, just hours after strongman leader Abdulla Yameen
conceded an election defeat.
Suggesting that the Chinese projects in the Maldives may
be reviewed by his party-backed coalition that won Sunday’s presidential
election, former President Mohamed Nasheed said: “India remains our natural
partner.” “I can’t speak for the coalition, but my own views remain the same.
None of the projects made business sense,” the Maldivian Democratic Party leader