India's Central Bank Cuts Key Rates

Mumbai, Apr 17 (IANS): The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Tuesday cut some key rates by 50 basis points in a bid to push industrial growth and stimulate economy -- a move that may also see interest rates falling on housing, automobile and commercial loans.

Announcing the monetary policy for the current fiscal, RBI Governor D. Subbarao said the repurchase rate was being cut by 50 basis points to 8 percent, which will automatically see the reverse repurchase rate also drop to 7 percent from 7.5 percent.

The RBI also raised by 100 basis points to 1 percent the marginal standing facility that allows commercial banks to borrow more -- over and above the money they have to park in government securities. The interest charged on this facility will now be 9 percent.

The repurchase rate is the interest the central bank levies on short-term borrowings by commercial banks. The reverse repurchase rate is the interest on short-term lending. A cut in these rates rate reduces the cost of accessing funds for lending institutions.

A cut in these rates also eases money supply in the system by making it more attractive for commercial banks not to park their funds with the Reserve Bank of India in the form of government securities, and instead lend it for commercial purposes.

The marginal standing facility was introduced in the monetary policy for last fiscal under which banks could borrow funds from the RBI at a rate which is one percentage point above the repurchase rate, by pledging government securities.

The borrowing limit under this facility was fixed at one percent of the net deposits of commercial banks and was introduced to tide over such situations when there was a large fall in liquidity in the system. This additional facility is now revised to 2 percent.

These policy decisions had an immediate impact on the market sentiments, resulting in the sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) moving up 103 points or 0.6 percent at 17,252.57 points.

Following are the (old) and the new policy rates and ratios in percentage:

Bank Rate (9.5) 9.00

Repo Rate (8.5) 8.00

Reserve Repo Rate (7.5) 7.00

Marginal Standing Facility Rate (9.5) 9.00

Cash Reserve Ratio (4.75) 4.75

Statutory Liquidity Ratio (24) 24.00

According to the central bank, these policy decisions will help in stabilising growth, contain the risks of inflation and inflationary expectations and enhance the liquidity cushion available in the system.

Giving his overall assessment of the Indian economy during the current fiscal, Subbarao said the central bank estimated the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for 2012-13 at 7.3 percent.

"The advance estimate of GDP growth of 6.9 percent for 2011-12 by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is close to the Reserve Bank's baseline projection of 7 percent," he said in the annual policy statement.

"Keeping in view the domestic demand-supply balance, the global trends in commodity prices and the likely demand scenario, the baseline projection for whole sale price inflation for March 2013 is placed at 6.5 per cent," he added.

"Even though growth has fallen significantly in the past three quarters, our projections suggest the economy will revert close to its post-crisis trend growth in 2012-13, which does not leave much room for policy easing without aggravating inflation risks."

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Comment on this article


    Tue, Apr 17 2012

    25 basis cut was already expected in the market.. But 50 basis cut was a surprise to every one but it is a good move as already interest rate is very high and now banks have to change their base rates and it will be benefited to the borrowers ..

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • KRPrabhu, Kudla/Bengaluru

    Tue, Apr 17 2012

    With the downward revision of Bank rate by 0.50 % by RBI,it is hoped that major retail banking products such as vehicle loan,Housing loan,consumer loans etc., will have a consequent revison of ROI downwards.In fact retail loans are the backbone for a good NIM(net interest margin)for banks and therefore the customer should also be benifitted by reduction of ROI to a great extent.

    Present housing loan limit bracket is not conducive from the point of rural/semi urban customers as there is no diferenciation between bigger loans and smaller ones.In fact rural/semiurban population needs more and more small loans for house repairs,vehicle repairs,consumer goods which needs to be addressed taking a soft corner with reference to ROI.Since CASA deposit in almost all banks is very confortable,it is appropriate if RBI formulates a uniform policy for retail loans of smaller amount especially in rural/semi urban areas.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

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