RBI begins first monetary policy meet of FY19

3 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: The RBI's rate setting panel Tuesday started its 3-day deliberations for the first bi-monthly monetary policy of 2019-20 amid expectations of a cut in key lending rate by another 25 basis points to boost economic activities.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points in February, after a gap of 18 months. A back-to-back cut in interest rate would provide relief to borrowers in the election season, report agencies.

The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das will announce the resolution of the meeting at around noon on Thursday.

It would be the first bi-monthly monetary policy of 2019-20.

Das has already held meetings with stakeholders including industry bodies, depositors association, MSME representatives and bankers.

Industry and experts are expecting the banking sector regulator to cut the key lending rate -- at which it lends to commercial banks -- by 0.25 per cent so as to boost the economic activities as fears loom large about global economic slowdown impacting India's growth prospects.

According to industry estimates, inflation is well below the RBI's mandate of 4 per cent and hence it should cut the repo rate (rate at which RBI lends to banks) to boost economic growth.

A back-to-back cut in interest rate would provide relief to borrowers in the election season, experts say.

According to ratings firm ICRA, the RBI could go for a 25 bps rate cut in the upcoming meeting of monetary policy committee.

Director General of CII Chandrajit Banerjee said the inflation trajectory has remained benign which further warrants a reduction in interest rates.

"In view of the visible signs of a growth slowdown in the second half of 2018-19, it is requested that the RBI should reduce the repo rate by at least 25 basis points in the upcoming policy and maintain a softening trend in monetary policy," he said.

Banerjee further said that the rate cut should be effectively transmitted to banks, a reduction in the cash reserve ratio (CRR) is also recommended so that it frees up banks cash for lending purposes.


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