RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has said that the bank will continue to monitor the emerging situation and deploy all resources and instruments at its command in the service of the nation. He said that the devastating speed with which the virus affects different regions of the country has to be matched by swift-footed and wide-ranging actions that are calibrated, sequenced and well-timed to reach out to various sections of society and business, right down to the smallest and the most vulnerable.
Addressing through various social media platforms this morning, the RBI governor said that on the basis of continued assessment of the macroeconomic situation and financial market conditions, it proposes for Term Liquidity Facility of 50,000 crore rupees to Ease Access to Emergency Health Services. Further, to boost provision of immediate liquidity for ramping up COVID related healthcare infrastructure and services in the country, an on-tap liquidity window of 50,000 crore rupees with tenors of up to three years at the repo rate is being opened till March 31, 2022.
Mr. Das said, under the scheme, banks can provide fresh lending support to a wide range of entities including vaccine manufactures; importers/suppliers of vaccines and priority medical devices; hospitals/dispensaries; pathology labs; manufactures and suppliers of oxygen and ventilators; importers of vaccines and COVID related drugs; logistics firms and also to patients for treatment.
He said, the forecast of a normal monsoon by the IMD is expected to sustain rural demand and overall output in 2021-22, while also having a soothing impact on inflation pressures.
The RBI governor said with restrictions and containment measures being localised and targeted, businesses and households are learning to adapt.
He said, CPI inflation edged up to 5.5 per cent in March 2021 from 5.0 per cent a month ago on the back of a pick-up in food as well as fuel inflation while core inflation remained elevated. He also said, the high-frequency food prices data for April 2021 from the Department of Consumer Affairs suggests further softening of prices of cereals and key vegetables while price pressures in pulses and edible oils remain.
He also stated that to provide support to small business units, micro and small industries, and other unorganised sector entities affected during the current wave of the pandemic, it has been decided to conduct special three-year long-term repo operations of 10,000 crore rupees at repo rate for the Small finance banks, to be deployed for fresh lending of up to 10 lakh rupees per borrower.