RU­PEE'S ONE WAY STREET

Business Today - - THE BUZZ - Joe C. Mathew

WITH THE RU­PEE weak­ened, the Naren­dra Modi govern­ment is again ex­plor­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of non- dol­lar trade with friendly na­tions. At a re­cent meet­ing, Prime Min­is­ter Modi broached the pos­si­bil­ity of a Govern­ment to­Gov­ern­ment( G 2 G) mech­a­nism with vis­it­ing Rus­sian pres­i­dent Vladimir Put in.

The two com­modi­ties that Rus­sia has in abun­dance - oil and pre­cious stones - con­sti­tute 45 per cent of In­dia’s to­tal im­port bill. This may seem to be a ter­rific way to re­duce In­dia’s dol­lar de­pen­dence but the prob­lem lies in im­ple­men­ta­tion.

Trade with Rus­sia ac­counts for less than 2 per cent of In­dia’s mer­chan­dise trade at the mo­ment, though both coun­tries have a long- stand­ing friendly re­la­tion­ship.

The $7 bil­lion In­dia- Rus­sia de­fence deal was def­i­nitely the high point of Putin’s visit, but oil and di­a­monds can be the real game chang­ers if New Delhi and Moscow work to en­hance bi­lat­eral trade.

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