Macro/Finance Group, NIPFP

Analysing India’s exchange rate regime

Analysing India’s exchange rate regime, Ila Patnaik and Rajeswari Sengupta. NIPFP Working paper 353, August 2021.

We analyse India's exchange rate regime through the prism of exchange market pressure. We estimate the various regimes that India’s de-facto exchange rate has been through during the period from 2000 to 2020. We find four specific regimes of the Indian rupee differentiated by the degree of flexibility of the exchange rate. We document the manner in which EMP in India has either been resisted through foreign exchange market intervention, or relieved through exchange rate change, across these four defacto exchange rate regimes. In particular, we find that after the 2008 global financial crisis the rupee-dollar exchange rate was relatively more flexible and the share of exchange rate in EMP absorption was the highest. After 2013 there was a change in the way the EMP was absorbed. The exchange rate was actively managed using spot as well as forward market intervention. We also find that the response of the RBI to EMP has been asymmetric. When there is pressure to appreciate, the RBI has typically responded by purchasing reserves. On the other hand, in the periods in which there has been pressure to depreciate, only a tiny fraction of reserves are used for resisting the pressure. Such pressure is absorbed by rupee depreciation.