Whither interest rates?
Even as the middle class is coming to terms with yet another round of interest rate hikes by the central bank, there are early indications that there’s more in store. The RBI has clearly indicated that inflation will continue to remain a key concern due to high crude and food prices. And now, we hear that the view in the economic ministries is that the RBI intervention will be required again. Says a senior bureaucrat: “We feel that the central bank may have to raise rates again to bring down inflation to single digits.” The worse, then, it seems, is not over yet.
Irrepressible laloo!Railways Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav is busy with his dream venture—the new electric locomotive plant being built in his old constituency of Madhepura. His opponents, notably Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, scoffed at the plan but it seems Laloo has pulled it off. We hear all the global transportation majors have submitted bids for the project, including Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens. The railways will buy 1,000 electric locomotives worth Rs 25,000 crore from the company that wins the contract. Laloo seems to have had his way once again.