Kisan Credit Card programme: Expanded access to credit or expansion of credit?
Somdeep Chatterjee
Posted on: 03 Nov 2016
Topics:   Finance , Agriculture

Kisan Credit Card programme - a key reform in agricultural lending in India - has been operational for almost 20 years now. However, there is little empirical evidence of its impact on intended beneficiaries. This column finds that the programme has had significant positive impact on agricultural production and technology adoption. It is likely that the channel is enhanced borrowing ability of the already unconstrained, rather than expanded access to credit.
read on »
Land and financial misallocation in India
Gilles Duranton , Ejaz Ghani , Arti Grover Goswami , William Kerr
Posted on: 20 Jul 2016

Optimising the allocation of factors of production – land, capital and labour - improves productivity. In India, where evidence suggests land is severely misallocated to inefficient manufacturing firms, access to financing is disproportionately tied to access to land. This column examines the link between the misallocation of land and access to capital through financial markets. A very strong positive correlation emerges between the two, consistent with the fact that land and buildings can provide strong collateral support for accessing finance from the credit market.
read on »
Land in India: Market price vs. fundamental value
Gurbachan Singh
Posted on: 29 Feb 2016
Topics:   Finance , Land

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015, is focused on protecting the few home buyers who can afford to buy homes but does not address the issue of high land prices, which is a very serious problem. This column demonstrates that the market prices of land in India are very high compared to fundamental values, and to market prices in developed countries.
read on »
When higher volatility is good news
Rudrani Bhattacharya , Ila Patnaik
Posted on: 16 Dec 2015
Topics:   Finance

Conventional wisdom suggests that access to financial services such as banks and bond markets, providing savings and borrowing instruments, allows smoothing consumption over lifetime, irrespective of income fluctuations. Yet, India and other emerging economies have witnessed an increase in consumption volatility relative to income volatility after financial sector development. This column argues that large permanent income shocks in emerging economies explain this puzzle.
read on »
Cash to cashless
Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay
Posted on: 30 Nov 2015
Topics:   Finance
Tags:   banking

The RBI is in discussion with the government on ways to reduce cash usage in the economy and to promote the use of cashless instruments. This column presents results from a study that estimates the extent of cashless transactions in the economy, and analyses the enabling factors and bottlenecks.
read on »
Foreign currency borrowing by Indian firms: What do we know?
Ila Patnaik , Ajay Shah , Nirvikar Singh
Posted on: 09 Nov 2015
Topics:   Finance

As foreign currency borrowing by Indian firms has been increasing, concerns have surfaced about rising associated risks. Hence, recent policy changes seeking to make the regulatory regime simpler and more transparent are timely. This column addresses several important questions regarding foreign currency borrowing of Indian firms, the answers to which can provide a firmer basis for ongoing policy formulation.
read on »
Are banks responsive to credit demand shocks in rural India?
Sankar De , Siddharth Vij
Posted on: 05 Oct 2015
Topics:   Finance

The output of Kharif crops is estimated to decrease by about 2% this year due to deficient monsoon rains in some Indian states. How responsive are commercial banks to a credit demand shock in rural India? Analysing data on rainfall and agricultural credit during 1993-2010, this column finds that banks increase the supply of agricultural credit to farmers following a drought, but that the additional credit is directed towards existing customers.
read on »
Can microcredit improve food security among the rural poor?
Asad Islam , Chandana Maitra , Debayan Pakrashi , Russell Smyth
Posted on: 28 Sep 2015

A core objective of microcredit in Bangladesh is to make the rural poor more food secure. To what extent has this been achieved? Analysing household data from Bangladesh, this column finds that participants of microcredit programmes are more food secure, with improved calorie availability, reduced child stunting and better maternal nutritional status. However, programme participation in itself does not improve dietary diversity.
read on »
Household savings and India’s current account deficit
Nikhil Gupta
Posted on: 25 Sep 2015

India’s current account deficit widened consistently in the post-crisis period between 2008-09 and 2012-13. This column finds that while the public sector was the key driver of this trend in the first two years, the increased consumption/investment by households was responsible for the high deficit in the later period. It recommends that policymakers should now incentivise household savings rather than consumption/investments, which implies limited scope for further interest rate cuts.
read on »
Emergence of Bandhan as a bank: A new era in the Indian banking industry
Somdutta Basu , Souvik Dutta , Abhirup Sarkar
Posted on: 27 Aug 2015
Topics:   Finance

At a time when the Indian banking industry is experiencing a steep rise in bad loans, Bandhan – an MFI with a near 100% loan recovery rate – has converted into a bank. Based on a survey of 112 Bandhan clients in West Bengal, this column highlights the features of Bandhan’s lending model that have enabled it to keep its bad loans at negligible levels.
read on »