Saturday, 23 February, 2019

India Inc cheers RBI rate cut

RBI Policy MPC Cuts Benchmark Rate RBI Governor Emphasises Growth RBI Policy: MPC Cuts Repo Rate by 25 Basis Points to 6.25%
Kelvin Reese | 08 February, 2019, 04:12

The reverse repo rate stands adjusted to 6.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility rate and the bank rate has been kept 6.5 per cent.

The gross domestic product (GDP) growth is likely to be influenced by growth in bank credit and overall financial flows to the commercial sectors, though slowing global demand could play a dampener, said an RBI document released after the three-day meeting of the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). This afternoon, Bank of Uganda's Governor Tumusiime Mutebile also announced, it will be holding benchmark lending rate at 10% for the second time in a row, citing subdued inflation. The MPC voted 4:2 in favour of the rate cut, while the decision to change policy stance was unanimous.

Monetary policies have never been about Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governors (the individual) alone ever since the formulation of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). However, all the members agreed on changing the policy stance to neutral.

The central bank's surprise cut in interest rate could work well with the Narendra Modi government at the Centre which wants to boost growth in an election year. The customary post-Budget board meeting was earlier scheduled for February 9 but has now been deferred. The MPC expects inflation to ease from this point (2.8 percent for ongoing quarter; 3.2-3.4 percent for first half of next fiscal).

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The short-term outlook for food inflation appears particularly benign, despite adverse base effects.

"Taking into consideration these developments and assuming a normal monsoon in 2019, the path of CPI inflation is revised downwards to 2.8% in Q4:2018-19, 3.2-3.4% in H1:2019-20 and 3.9% in Q3:2019-20, with risks broadly balanced around the central trajectory", it said. "Investment activity is recovering but supported mainly by public spending on infrastructure", it said, adding that the need is to strengthen private investment activity and buttress private consumption.

RBI has decided enhancement of collateral free agriculture loan from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.6 lakhs.

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