Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Friday that the country’s foreign exchange reserves had increased by nearly two billion dollars to $ 476.5 billion for the week ended on April 10. He said that this foreign exchange reserves are sufficient to import the country for about a year (11.8 months). According to the Reserve Bank’s previous published figures, foreign exchange reserves stood at $ 474.66 billion for the week ended on April 3.
This level of foreign exchange reserves in the country is being considered a major force or asset amidst challenges posed by the Covid-19 epidemic.
What is foreign exchange reserves?
Foreign exchange reserves are cash or other reserves held by the central bank. They are used to balance payments in the country, influence the foreign exchange rates of its currency or maintain confidence in financial markets.
Net FDI and net foreign portfolio investment exceeds previous year’s mark
Governor Shaktikanta Das said that net FDI was $ 2.9 billion in February, compared to $ 1.9 billion a year-ago. Similarly, net foreign portfolio investment in equities also exceeded $ 0.4 billion in the April 1–9 period, compared to $ 0.2 billion in investment flows in the same period a year earlier.
Worst decline in exports
He said that during the same period foreign portfolio investment in debt was down by $ 0.9 billion a year ago. During this time net clearance of $ 0.7 billion was recorded. However, exports declined by 34.6 percent in March, he said. This is greater than the fall in time of the 2008-09 “global financial crisis”.
Shaktikanta Das said that except for iron ore, all export sectors saw a decline in exports. He said that imports of merchandise (excluding transport equipment) declined by 28.7 percent in March. He said this resulted in a trade deficit of $ 9.8 billion in March 2020 from $ 11 billion a year earlier.
In India cases rise to 15,712; death toll rises to 507
According to data, the number of Covid-19 infected people worldwide has crossed 2 million. So far, the epidemic has killed 1,44,000 people worldwide. America is most affected by this. It has killed 35,000 people in the US and infected over 7,00,000 people.
Since the total of 1063 new cases reported in India in the last 24 hours, the number of people infected with the Covid-19 epidemic, including foreign nationals, has increased to 15,712 by Sunday morning in the country. The Ministry of Health has given information about this. The Ministry of Health, presenting the latest data in the morning said that a total of 12,969 Covid-19 are currently infected with the pandemic. A total of 2,232 patients who have recovered fully after treatment have been discharged from the hospital, while 507 people have died due to the epidemic.