RBI maintains status quo on key repo rates

06 April 2018, 03:25 | Andres Norman

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6 percent, stance stays at 'neutral'

Monetary policy: RBI lowers inflation target for first half of FY19

Then, at a press conference to discuss the first bi-monthly monetary policy statement (2018-19 ) post the Monetary Policy Committee meeting, RBI Deputy Governor B.P. Kanungo acknowledged that bitcoins and its brethren were "getting worldwide attention for quite some time for their speculative value".

This is the fourth policy review in sequence in which the MPC has kept the Repo Rate unchanged.

RBI also kept reverse repo rate unchanged at 5.75 per cent. GDP in the first half of the FY18 was lower; investment demand accelerated in the second half of the FY18.

The BSE Sensex rose almost 100 points in opening trade today ahead of Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy review that begins today.

The two-day meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) headed by Governor Urjit Patel of the Reserve Bank of India will end today.

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However, RBI reiterated its neutral stance on its policy outlook due to several uncertainties surrounding the baseline inflation path including the revised minimum support price (MSP) announced in the budget and the possible fiscal slippages at the level of both centre and states.

Regulated entities already providing services to any individual or business dealing in digital currencies are being given three months to exit the relationship, RBI Deputy Governor B.P. Kanungo told reporters here.

The MPC said it saw inflation in the second half of this fiscal year at 4.4, but that was without taking into account any increase from higher housing allowances to government employees. The RBI remained firm on its neutral stance, which has been changed from the earlier stance of "accommodative". CPI which stood at 5.21% at 17-month high, recorded a growth rate of 5.07% in January 2018 and further to 4.44% in February 2018. The apex bank could have directed the lenders to keep the MCLR below 10% or put a cap on the same for home loans. There is pressure on the central bank to cut interest rates to boost retail inflation and boost growth.

The Reserve Bank of India was more open to blockchain, the technology that underpins virtual currencies, which it said has the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system.

The move is likely to have a far-reaching impact on the payment ecosystem in India as surveys show that nearly 37 per cent respondents who made digital payments used these apps. "However, whether this is a transient bout of "dovishness" or whether it will endure (especially if one of risks were to surface) remains the key question", he said.

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