RBI maintains status quo for fourth time, keeps policy rate unchanged at 4%

“A big push to certain targeted mega infrastructure projects can reignite the economy,” said Das
The Reserve Bank of India on Friday left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4 per cent for a fourth time, but decided to maintain an accommodative stance, indicating more rate cuts in the future in order to support the economy hit by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The benchmark repurchase (repo) rate was left unchanged at 4 per cent (+/- 2 per cent), Governor Shaktikanta Das said while announcing the decisions taken by the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

Meanwhile, the reverse repo rate will also continue to earn 3.35 per cent for banks for their deposits kept with the RBI.

Governor Das said the MPC of the RBI voted to keep interest rates unchanged and continue with the accommodative stance to support growth.

Das said that inflation had returned to a tolerance band (of 4 per cent). He further said that outlook on growth had turned positive and signs of recovery had also strengthened further. 

Saying that GDP growth was projected at 10.5 per cent for the next fiscal, Das said that the Budget had provided impetus to health and infra sectors. 

He further said that vegetables prices were likely to remain soft in the near term and inflation would be revised to 5.2 per cent in Q4FY21.

The RBI governor said that the government would review the inflation target for RBI by March 2021 and that inflation targeting had worked well.

Das said that stance of liquidity management continueed to remain accommodative in line with monetary policy and noted that the RBI would ensure government's market borrowing programme functioned in a non-disruptive manner.

Das further said that the RBI had decided to gradually restore cash reserve ratio for banks at 3.5 per cent by March 27, 2021.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • MPC has unilaterally decided to keep policy rate unchanged at 4%
  • Accommodative stance to continue for now
  • MSF and bank rate unchanged at 4,25%
  • Stable near-term outlook on account of inflation being in control
  • Given that inflation has come within the tolerance band, MPC decided to prioritise growth
  • 2020 tested our endurance, while 2021 is setting the stage for a new economic era in our history
  • Consumer confidence reviving
  • 2021 has started on a positive note with vaccination drive providing an impetus
  • The flow of financial resources to commercial sector is increasing
  • FDI and FPI flows into India have increased in recent months reflecting the faith reposed in India by the world
  • Real GDP growth projected at 10.5% in 2021-22
  • Investment-oriented stimulus given under Atmanirbhar Bharat have begun to show results.
  • Projected increase in capital expenditure augur well for the economy
  • After breaching the upper threshold continuously since June 2020, CPI-based inflation came below 6%.
  • Vegetable prices are expected to remain soft in the coming months
  • Projection for CPI-based inflation revised to 5.2% for Q4 of FY21, for H1 of FY22 at 5% to 5.2%, and for Q3 of FY22 at 
  • RBI ensured smooth transmission of its rate cuts
  • The RBI's stance of liquidity management continues to be accommodative and will remain so as long as necessary
  • RBI has proactively taken steps to insulate domestic financial markets from global stress and unpredictability
  • RBI will ensure the govt's Rs 12-trillion market borrowing programme in a smooth manner
  • The TLTRO on-tap scheme announced for banks earlier extended to NBFCs
  • Access to funds for banks under MSF extended by six months beyond March-end
  • HTM limits would be restored in a phased manner from quarter ending June 2023
  • Banks to be incentivised for extending new MSME loans
  • Retail investors can open Gilt accounts with RBI
  • CRR to be restored gradually to 3.5% in March, and 4% in May
  • Resident individuals can make remittance to IFSCs for NRIS
  • Retail investors can now access primary and secondary govt bond market
  • RBI to come up with various guidelines for the MFI sector
  • One nation, one ombudsman: To make ombudsman scheme more efficient, a central integrated ombudsman scheme to be rolled out for redress of grievances from June 2021



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