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India’s Central Bank Is Stuck in a Halfway House

(Bloomberg Opinion) — India’s worst economic slump is no time for the government to sow doubts about the credibility of its institutions.

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On Monday, the Reserve Bank of India postponed its three-day, rate-setting meeting without giving a reason. It was probably canceled because the panel didn’t have enough people to convene; the six-person committee requires four officials to proceed. The terms of three members have expired, and requests that the government extend their tenure were met with the formation of a group to select new ones instead. (By law, they can’t be appointed to second terms.) 

No matter how you read this, the signals are discouraging. If it’s purely a scheduling snafu, then the timing is particularly poor. Gross domestic product dived 23.9% in the second quarter from a year earlier, easily the worst performance in Asia. India is crumbling beneath the toll of the coronavirus, with more

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