Monday, March 23, 2009

Inflation et all

The entire media is on the inflation-deflation band wagon, desperately trying to convince everyone that happy days are here again because we no longer have inflation to cope with.
Who the hell is concerned about inflation or its cousins, deflation or desflation or whatever else the economists and their favored media may chose to call it?
How is the public at large, the Aam Aadmi affected by this about turn in the fate of Inflation, long touted as their biggest Woe?
Despite the fall in inflation, there is no respite in the prices of anything to do with everyday living, the prices of onions, tomatoes, roti, milk or fruits. This is the season for those who do, to stock up a year’s supply of wheat and spices. But are the prices reflecting the harvest or the supposed death of inflation?
No restaurant or multiplex or even a vegetable lari has cut its rates. On the other hand, a startling 5.5% interest rate has been announced for the more expensive range of cars in the market. Are the people who go in for ‘luxury’ cars Aam Aadmi? Or even middle class?
Perhaps more pertinent for a supposedly burgeoning economy aspiring to be a Super Power on the world stage, what has happened to the interest rates?
Whenever the RBI ever raised its rates, any of the four crucial ones which affect its lending status with the banks, the effect on the banks’ customers was instantaneous. Interest rates across the board on cars, homes, personal etc would rise.
It is almost three months now since the RBI has been fiddling with its rates; any query with the banks, especially the so-called queens of the banking system, the private banks about interest coming down evokes the classic response:
”Madame we are calculating how much the lower the rate.”
Three months to calculate lowering rates, when hiking them used to be practically over night? Do we still want more private banks and foreign banks flooding our systems ask Most of Us.

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