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Daniel Moss

With Growth This Bad, India Needs More Than Luck

Monetary officials must keep cutting rates. The trouble is, the economy is sliding faster than reductions can help.  

Lucky duck.

Lucky duck.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
Updated on

With India's growth tumbling to 4.5% from 8.1% in little more than a year, you’d be surprised to know that Shaktikanta Das has one of the easiest jobs in central banking. He just has to keep doing what he's been doing since becoming governor of the Reserve Bank of India last December: cut interest rates. Fortunately, political will is on his side.

That’s an enviable state of affairs for a central banker these days. Just look at Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who has become a constant target of President Donald Trump’s Twitter tirades. It’s also face-saving for Das that politics and economics are pointing in the same direction. He took up this post under a cloud of question marks about the RBI’s independence. Das’s immediate predecessor, Urjit Patel, quit abruptly almost a year ago, just as the government was ratcheting up pressure for the institution to hand over some of its reserves to free up fiscal spending.