4 June :In addition to hike in fuel prices and duty cuts, cash-strapped oil companies have got a relief on liquidity front through RBI’s recent move to buy oil bonds, which would help these companies import sufficient quantity of crude.
"With the view to addressing liquidity problem effectively, RBI and oil companies have entered into an arrangement since yesterday as per which the (oil) bonds will be disposed by companies in favour of the central bank," said Petroleum Secretary M S Srinivasan on Wednesday.
After accepting the bonds, the RBI would give dollars to these companies subject to a maximum of Rs 1,000 crore a day for importing crude oil.
The move would help the oil companies since these bonds, even though tradeable in the market, do not have much takers.
Also, oil bonds do not have SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) status and as such it is not mandatory for banks to invest in them to meet the requirement of investing 25 per cent of their deposits in them.
Oil marketing PSUs got Rs 35,290 crore of bonds last fiscal to help them meet under-recoveries on account of surging global oil prices.
After Wednesday’s price hike, duty cuts and support by upstream marketing companies, they would have uncovered losses of Rs 1,35,000 crore this fiscal, part of which would be met by oil bonds.
Srinivasan also said that the arrangement would also obviate the problem of Rupee depreciation which normally occurs whenever oil companies go and purchase dollars in the open market for meeting their crude oil requirement.
The special open market operations of the central bank would also result in mopping up of excess liquidity in the system.
Though, the special market operations of RBI would constitute only a fraction of the total turnover in the money and foreign exchange markets, they are likely to have the impact of reducing volatility, RBI had said earlier.
The special market operations are temporary in nature and will be reviewed regularly, it had said. Courtsey : DD NEWS