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06 December 2018, 05:45 | Hattie Nash
RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.5%
The central bank also retained the GDP growth projection for FY19 at 7.4 per cent.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday (December 5) kept key lending rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent after the conclusion of its fifth bi-monthly policy review. Dholakia, known for his dovish stance, voted to change the stance to neutral.
Inflation projection lowered: Inflation has been projected at 2.7-3.2 per cent for second half of FY2018-19 and 3.8-4.2 per cent for the first half of FY 2019-20, with risks tilted to the upside.
India's GDP slowed to 7.1 percent in the September quarter even as retail inflation dropped to a one-year low of 3.31 percent in October.
While the comfort on inflation has increased, the comfort on growth has decreased.
On balance, the MPC was of the view that incoming data will help ascertain the durable nature of the recent inflation softening and allow better judgment on future policy action. Calibrated Tightening means rate cut is off the table this cycle. The 10-year government bond yield closed at 7.441%, a level last seen on 13 April, from its previous close of 7.573%.
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RBI's new liquidity management framework incorporates an SLR reduction by 25 bps every quarter until the SLR reaches 18% of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL).
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The so-called statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) now stands at 19.50 per cent and the move to lower the SLR should prod banks to lend more rather than park their cash in safe-haven government securities. The central bank assured enough liquidity for the financial system, stating that it may step up the frequency and quantum of open market operation purchases of government securities till March-end.
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This is for the second time in a row that the central bank did not tinker with the interest rate. The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate stand at 6.75 per cent.
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