RBI maintains status quo third time in a row; keeps policy rate unchanged at 4 pc


RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das | Photo: ANI|File

Mumbai: Concerned over elevated inflation, Reserve Bank of India on Friday decided to leave benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4 per cent but maintained an accommodative stance, implying more rate cuts in the future if need arises to support the economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The benchmark repurchase (repo) rate has been left unchanged at 4 per cent, Governor Shaktikanta Das said while announcing the decisions taken by the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

Consequently, the reverse repo rate will also continue to earn 3.35 per cent for banks for their deposits kept with Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

He said MPC voted for keeping interest rate unchanged and continued with its accommodative stance to support growth.

The central bank had slashed the repo rate by 115 basis points since late March to support growth.

RBI had last revised its policy rate on May 22, in an off-policy cycle to perk up demand by cutting interest rate to a historic low.

The 26th meeting of the rate-setting MPC with three external members -- Ashima Goyal, Jayanth R Varma and Shashanka Bhide -- began on December 2. This is the second meeting of these members who are appointed for a term of four years.

The government moved the interest rate setting role from the RBI Governor to the six-member MPC in 2016. Half of the panel, headed by the Governor, is made up of external independent members.

MPC has been given the mandate to maintain annual inflation at 4 per cent until March 31, 2021, with an upper tolerance of 6 per cent and a lower tolerance of 2 per cent.

PTI

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