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  • 10 October, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

Drop in Foreign Exchange Reserves

Drop in Foreign Exchange Reserves

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) estimates that during the past 13 months, India's foreign exchange reserves have decreased by USD 110 billion.

Forex Reserves: What Are They?

  • Foreign currency holdings, such as bonds, treasury bills, and other government securities, are known as forex reserves and are assets held in reserve by central banks.
  • The majority of the world's reserves are held in US dollars.


  • Foreign Currency Assets
  • Gold reserves
  • Special Drawing Rights
  • Reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Significance of Forex Reserves:

  • Supporting and preserving confidence in the monetary and exchange rate management strategies is the significance of forex reserves.
  • Gives the ability to act to defend the nation or union currency.
  • Maintains foreign currency liquidity to absorb shocks at times of crisis or when access to borrowing is restricted, hence reducing external vulnerability.

What are Special Drawings Rights?

  • The SDR is a type of international reserve asset that was developed by the IMF in 1969 to supplement the official reserves of its member nations.
  • The SDR is not a form of payment nor is it an IMF claim. Instead, it might be a claim against IMF members' freely useable currencies. These currencies are exchangeable for SDRs.
  • A weighted basket of important currencies, including the US dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan, and the British pound, is used to determine the SDR's value.
  • The interest given to members on their SDR holdings is known as the SDR interest rate, or (SDRi).

What causes the decline in India's foreign exchange reserves?

Present Situation:

  • Since September 2021, when they reached a record high of USD 642.45 billion, India's foreign exchange reserves have decreased by USD 110 billion.
  • It should be remembered that the Indian rupee is a freely floatable currency, and that the market determines its exchange rate. There is no set exchange rate set by the RBI.
  • India has performed significantly better than several reserve currencies, EMEs (emerging market economies), and its Asian competitors despite this sharp decrease.

Causes of Falling Foreign Exchange Reserves

Defense of Rupee:

US Fed's Aggressive Policy & Capital Outflows:

  • Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) saw capital outflows as a result of the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy tightening and interest rate increases.
  • FPIs have started to leave the Indian markets. These FPIs bought capital goods and telecom services and sold financial and IT services.

Valuation Loss:

  • The decline in foreign exchange reserves was also influenced by the valuation loss, which reflected the strengthening of the US dollar against other major currencies and the drop in gold prices.
  • Reserves decreased by almost 67% during the current fiscal year as a result of value adjustments brought on by the strengthening US dollar and rising US bond yields.

What are the variables that influence exchange rates?

Rates of Inflation:

  • Variations in market inflation result in variations in currency exchange rates. For instance, a nation with a lower rate of inflation than another will experience an increase in the value of its currency.
  • Exports, imports, debt, and other activities are all included in the balance of payments.
  • A country's currency depreciates and has greater fluctuations in the exchange rate of its local currency when it has a current account deficit because it spends more foreign currency on buying goods than it is making from the sale of exports.

Government Debt:

  • Central government is the owner of all forms of government debt. Large government debt makes a nation less likely to attract foreign investment, which might cause inflation.
  • If the market foresees government debt in a specific nation, foreign investors will in this case sell their bonds on the open market. The value of its exchange rate will consequently decline.

Read Also: Proposed Digital Rupee by RBI

Source: The Hindu

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