India’s central bank cuts benchmark rate to decade-low 4.4%

27 Mars, 2020, 08:59 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Nirmala Sitharaman

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said that moratorium on term loans, deferment of interest payment will not result in downgrade of asset classification for financial institutions.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Shaktikanta Das, on Friday announced a massive 75 basis points cut in repo rates as part of a sslew of measures to counter the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Describing the Coronavirus pandemic as an "invisible assassin", the RBI chief said that all these measures will release 3.74 lakh crore into the system and ease pressure on the banks. The step will release 1.37 lakh crore.

The central bank's monetary policy committee voted 4:2 majority to cut repo rate by 75 basis points. "All lending institutions are allowed to defer interest on working capital repayments by three months".

"All commercial banks (including regional rural banks, small finance banks and local area banks), co-operative banks, all-India Financial Institutions, and NBFCs (including housing finance companies and micro-finance institutions) ("lending institutions") are being permitted to allow a moratorium of three months on payment of instalments in respect of all term loans outstanding as on March 1, 2020", the statement added.

The governor also said that RBI will undertake a repo operation of up to Rs 1 lakh crore to infuse liquidity into the market. Keeping finance flowing is the paramount objective of the RBI. Offshore Rupee NDF Market has been growing rapidly. He urged those with deposits in private banks to not indulge in panic withdrawal. Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) was required to be introduced from April 1, 2020.

Indian banking system "safe and sound": The Governor also said that the Indian banking system is "safe and sound" and depositors should not resort to panic withdrawal of their deposits.

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Incremental CCB (capital conservation buffer) implementation deferred from 30 March, 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Global slowdown could make things hard for India too, despite some help from falling crude prices, he said.

Beginning March 25, for a period of three weeks, India is under a complete lock-down to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

"RBI has taken up several measures to inject substantial liquidity". He said the MPC voted for sizeable reduction in repo rate to revive growth, mitigate covid-19 impact.

The bank's six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) held a meeting this week by video conference to arrive at its decision.

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