The Reserve Bank of India
(RBI) has decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6 per cent. The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by Reserve Bank of India
(RBI) Governor Urjit Patel, announced interest rate
decision on Wednesday while presenting its fourth bi-annual monetary policy.
Analysts largely expected the central bank to maintain the status quo, but added there could be a rate cut
later in the financial year.
Currently, the repo rate stands at 6 per cent. Next policy meeting has been scheduled for December 5.
Here's what experts have to say:
Tushar Arora, Senior Economist of HDFC Bank to Sify.com
"No surprises as such. Going strictly by the optics of headline inflation is unlikely to result in rate cuts. Room to maneuver will only come if the MPC chooses to utilize the +/-2 percent bandwidth and indeed looks through a marginal rise in inflation above the 4 percent level. I believe this could happen later during the year as growth numbers continue to surprise on the downside."
Upasna Bhardwaj, Senior economist at Kotak Mahindra Bank
"I don't see much of a surprise. RBI
has highlighted risks from inflation which were known. Going ahead the room for further action looks very limited. But we do not completely rule out a possible rate cut
in upcoming policy, considering factors like growth which isn't particularly robust as of now.
"We believe that RBI
will stay on status quo for the rest of the year. RBI
and government don't have different objectives, although their means could be different. I don't see any increased tensions between them."
Sunil Sinha, director at India Ratings
Here is what the panel said:
"In my view, another rate cut
this fiscal is unlikely unless retail inflation surprises on the downside and inflation levels turn out to be lower than the central bank's expectations."
Teething problems related to GST might soon be resolved
Household consumption demand may get upward boost from housing allowance
Urjit Patel: States' farm loan waivers may result in fiscal slippages
Urjit Patel: Real gross value added growth seen at 7.7% for January-March; Real gross value added growth seen at 7.4% for FY19
Urjit Patel: Real gross value added growth seen at 6.4% for July-September, 7.1% for October-December
CPI inflation for Jan-March, Apr-Jun 2018 quarters seen at 4.6%
Implementation of GST has rendered short-term prospects uncertain.
Price pressures have co-incided with global geopolitical uncertainties
RBI Deputy governor Viral Acharya:
* Market-friendly reforms include operational flexibility for exporters and importers, review of various FDI policies.
* Corporate credit risk profile is showing gradual signs of improvement
* Recent headline inflation has risen substantially in recent months
* Loss of momentum in growth has energised a lively debate
* Large distressed borrowers being directed into NCLT U/Insolvency Code
RBI Deputy governor N S Vishwanathan
* Committee recommended to move towards an external benchmark.
* Few banks have marginally brought down their base rate recently.
RBI Deputy governor B P Kanungo
* Government, RBI
have been trying to broaden participation in the G-sec market
* Targetting active consolidation of state debt via buybacks and switches.
* The central bank has cut statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) by 50 bps to 19.50 per cent from October 14, while Held-To-Maturity (HTM) limit will be cut to 19.5 per cent in phases.
* The Monetary Policy Committee said that it is committed to keep CPI inflation close to 4 per cent on durable basis. CPI inflation was seen at 4.2 per cent in October-December, down from January-March's 4.6 per cent.
* Panel mooted switching to external benchmark for loan pricing; economic activity expected to recover led by services.