Wise Wealth Advisors

D.Muthukrishnan (Muthu), Certified Financial Planner- Personal Financial Advisor

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No Pain No Gain

Posted by Muthu on November 21, 2016

I received a document prepared by Franklin Templeton India on demonetisation. I found the same useful.

I’ve given the key points below. Please read the complete report for more details and better understanding.

1)Overall, we believe that the demonetisation exercise should help to accelerate financialisation of the Indian economy over medium to long term.

2) This measure needs to be seen in the context of other far reaching measures effected by the current government, including GST, Aadhar, Jan Dhan Yojana and Unified Payment Interface (UPI). All these measures put together should help in shifting significant portions of the informal economy (estimated at 40% of GDP) into formal economy.

3) This could in turn improve productivity by reducing frictional inefficiencies and improve the government’s tax revenues led by significantly better financial trails over medium to long term. These measures would give more flexibility for the government to manage fiscal deficit, as also potentially enable to shift to lower interest rates in India.

4) However, the demonetisation measure is likely to be negative for growth in the very near term until the level of cash in circulation reverts to normalcy. A sudden withdrawal of Rs.14 lakhs crore (9% of GDP) represents substantial monetary tightening, which could result in deflationary forces due to lower aggregate demand.

5) We believe that there exists a scope of 50 bps policy rate cut by the RBI from current levels over next one year, which may be undertaken in order to offset the deflationary impact.

6) Meanwhile, the flow of substantial cash holdings into bank deposits will mean that banking system will be flush with liquidity and CASA (Current Account and Savings Account) balances are expected to improve. As credit demand is likely to be muted for next couple of quarters, there would be very limited opportunities for banks to lend these deposits. The possibility of this money being channelised towards government securities may lead to a bond rally.

7) We expect aggressive rate cuts by banks, thus helping RBI in achieving better monetary transmission. The lower interest rates, along with a return to normalcy for cash in circulation should set the stage for a stronger recovery in aggregate demand in financial year 2017-18.

I wrote my last piece on the very next day of demonetisation. Now I’ve a better understanding of how benefit would accrue to government.

It is unlikely that the entire Rs.14 lakhs crore that was in circulation would come back to banks. Black money would be a sizeable part of this. The estimates range from Rs.1.5 lakh crore to Rs.5 lakh crore. There are some who argue that entire money would somehow find its way to banks. Even if that happens, the (earlier) untaxed part of that money would result in huge tax revenues for government.

For now, let us assume Rs.3 lakh crore does not come into bank accounts. That is the black money destroyed in this demonetisation drive. Government by necessary legislative changes can ensure that is no longer in the books of RBI as liability. As assets of RBI remain the same and liability is reduced, this excess Rs.3 lakh crore can be transferred to reserve. From reserves, RBI can eventually transfer the same to its P&L (Profit & Loss account) as income and then pay the same to government as dividend. Either government is going to tax and penalise heavily the unaccounted money coming to the system or it is going to get a hefty dividend from RBI or most likely a combination of both.

Thus black money is transferred from the hands of corrupt individuals to government of India.

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