Money & Banking

Monetary policy review: RBI likely to keep interest rate unchanged

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 03, 2014

Amid fears of poor monsoon impacting food inflation, the Reserve Bank of India may opt for status quo on interest rate in its bi-monthly monetary policy review to be unveiled on Tuesday.

The food inflation remaining over 8 per cent mark will weigh heavily on the Reserve Bank of India, which has been maintaining that containing inflation is its top priority.

Deficient monsoon

Prices of some of the food articles like tomato, onion, potatoes are still quite above normal. With monsoon being below normal, there is a fear that price situation, especially food inflation, may further deteriorate in the coming days.

Monsoon deficiency stood at 23 per cent in at the end of July.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is scheduled to announce its third bi-monthly monetary policy on August 5.

The State Bank of India (SBI) Chairperson, Arundhati Bhattacharya, said the RBI is likely to keep interest rate intact in the monetary policy review.

“I think status quo (in policy rate) is more likely,” she said.

The HDFC Bank Deputy Managing Director, Paresh Sukthankar, said: “Our view is that policy rates are likely to remain roughly stable.”

He further said: At least, the assumption that we are built into for the GDP growth in this year, we are counting on major tail winds from interest rate reduction. The pick-up in the economy that we are anticipating is really going to be driven more by the policy environment and the investments picking up but not necessarily on the back of lower interest rates.”

According to Indian Overseas Bank, interest rates will remain same in this policy, but going forward there would be a downward bias.

In the last policy review in June, the RBI chose not to tinker with the policy rate. It was the second consecutive time that the RBI Governor, Raghuram Rajan, kept the interest rates unchanged.

Repo rate, SLR

The repo rate, at which the RBI lends to banks, was retained at 8 per cent and the cash reserve ratio (CRR) was kept unchanged at 4 per cent.

The statutory liquidity ratio (SLR), the mandatory amount of bonds lenders must park at the RBI, was cut by 0.5 per cent to 22.5 per cent of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) with effect from June 14.

America-Merill Lynch said it expects the rate cut to happen only in December, if the monsoon normalises to cool down inflation, or early 2015 in case prices rise prolongs.

“We continue to expect the Governor to be on hold on August 5...the RBI will be on long hold till it is clear that inflation is truly coming off,” it said.

Published on August 03, 2014
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