29 MARCH 1940, Page 32


As a primary producing country India is likely to benefit from war conditions. Evidence of improvement which has already taken place was forthcoming in Sir James Leigh- Wood's review at the annual meeting of the Eastern Bank. He showed that the effects of war were already finding reflection in an increasingly favourable balance of trade, greater confidence in the rupee and the accumulation of large sterling funds. By offering conversion facilities to holders of several large sterling loans the Government of India has demonstrated its desire to ease the strain on the external resources of the home country and it is probable that conversion into the new rupee issues will be on a fair scale. There is reason for believing, however, that the Government of India does not contemplate redemption of the 3f per cent. (1931 or after) sterling loan of which about £87,000,000 was outstanding on December 31st, 1939. While the total amount of sterling at the command of the Indian Government is very large, much of it is earmarked for special purposes.