Sunday, January 13, 2008

Readings: Do Capital Controls Work? by ILa Patnaik

ILa Patnaik has an insightful article on Capital Flows in India. The article appeared in the Indian Express on 8th Jan, 2008.


India has witnessed a capital surge in recent months. Even though there was a reversal of reforms on several fronts with the re-introduction of capital controls, there was a $17.4 billion increase in net capital flows in the Jul-Sep quarter when compared with the previous one. India is too integrated into the world economy, today, for capital controls to be brought back.

The latest quarterly balance of payment data released by the Reserve Bank of India shows that the country saw a surge in capital inflows in the period July to September 2007. Net capital flows in a single quarter of USD 34 blllion dollars has been unprecedented in the history of India. This figure was nearly 4 times that of the rather meek USD 8.7 billion that came into India in the same quarter last year. The flows in July-Sept 2007 were more than double the USD 16.5 billion the amount that came into India in the previous quarter, April- June 2007. What is equally striking is that this surge in capital was not caused by a sudden change in policy to open up to inflows. No, indeed, it was the opposite. It was witnessed when India had started moving towards restricting capital inflows such as the restrictions on ECB flows.

Read the entire article here.

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