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National News

Dec 05, 2018

RBI keeps all key policy rates unchanged

File Pic:PTI
The Reserve Bank of India, RBI, maintained status quo on all key policy rates in the fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review announced this afternoon. Subsequently, the repo rate remains unchanged at 6.5 percent and the reverse repo rate at 6.25 percent. 

Repo rate is the rate at which RBI lends to banks generally against government securities. The reverse repo is the rate at which RBI borrows money from banks. The RBI informed the marginal standing facility rate and the Bank Rate too remain at 6.75 percent.

The six-member monetary policy committee headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel unanimously voted to maintain the status quo on policy rates. In the last policy announced in October, RBI had kept all the policy rates unchanged. 

RBI has lowered its inflation forecast based on moderation in food inflation and the sharp decline in international crude oil prices. Accordingly, inflation is projected to be in the range of 2.7 to 3.2 percent in the second half of this fiscal.

Assuming a normal monsoon next year, RBI said that inflation will likely to stay in the range of 3.8 to 4.2 percent in the first half of next fiscal. 

On the growth front, RBI retained GDP growth rate projection at 7.4 percent for this fiscal and at 7.5 percent in the first half of 2019-20.

RBI has said that lower RABI sowing, slowing global demand and rising trade tensions may adversely affect growth prospects while the decline in crude oil prices is expected to boost India’s growth prospects.

The next meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee is scheduled to be held between 5th and 7th February next year.

Even after revising its inflation projection on the downside, RBI today said that volatile global markets and uncertainty regarding crude oil prices warrant the central bank’s 'calibrated tightening' policy stance. 

Addressing the post-policy press conference, RBI Governor Urjit Patel said this stance gives the apex bank a chance to pause, reflect and undertake future policy action with more robust inflation signals. 

Announcing a couple of customer protection policies, RBI today said that it will notify an ‘Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions’ by end of January 2019; adding that this dedicated, cost-free and expeditious grievance redressal mechanism will help in strengthening consumer confidence in the digital transactions sector. 

Further guidelines for limiting customer liability in respect of unauthorised electronic transactions through credit and debit cards will also be issued soon.

RBI today also said that a committee to look into the issues crippling MSME sector will also be set up by the end of this month. The next policy is scheduled for 7th February 2019. 

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