Devaluation means officially lowering the value of currency in terms of foreign currencies. Devaluation is the result of official government action. It stimulates exports of commodities. It restricts import demand for goods and services. It helps in creating a favorable balance of payments. Almost all the countries of the world have devalued their currencies at one time or the other with a view to achieving certain economic objectives. Since its Independence in 1947, India has faced two major financial crises and two consequent devaluation of the rupee. These crises were in 1966 and 1991. The 1966 Devaluation
Despite government attempts to obtain a positive trade balance, India has had consistent balance of payments deficits since the 1950s. The 1966 devaluation was the result of the first major financial crisis the government faced. Inflation had caused Indian prices to become much higher than world prices at the pre-devaluation exchange rate. When the exchange rate is fixed and a country experiences high inflation relative to other countries, that country’s goods become more expensive and foreign goods become cheaper. Therefore, inflation tends to increase imports and decrease exports. Since 1950, India ran continued trade deficits that increased in magnitude in the 1960s. Another additional factor which played a role in the 1966 devaluation was India’s war with Pakistan in late 1965. The US and other countries friendly towards Pakistan, withdrew foreign aid to India, which further necessitated devaluation. Because of all these reasons, Government of India devalued Rupee by 36.5% against Dollar. Devaluation of Indian Rupee in 1991
In 1991, India still had a fixed exchange rate system, where the rupee was pegged to the value of a basket of currencies of major trading partners. At the end of 1990, the Government of India found itself in serious economic trouble. The government was close to default and its foreign exchange reserves had dried up to the...
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