RBI Keeps Key Rates Unchanged, Says Recovery "Uncertainty" Due To Covid

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das has kept the repo rate unchanged amid a surge in Covid-19 cases and imposition of fresh restrictions to control the rampaging virus.

The RBIGovernor also said the bank willcontinue with an accomodative stance

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das has kept the key rates unchanged, saying the recent resurgence in Covid-19 infections has created "uncertainty" about recovery in economic growth. The central bank retained the repo rate at 4 per cent and the reverse repo rate at 3.35 per cent. The RBI Governor said that vaccine distribution and its efficacy is key to global economic recovery and asserted that the bank will continue with an accomodative stance as long as necessary to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are 10 things to know about the RBI decision today:

  1. “Recent surge in Covid-19 infections has created uncertainty over economic growth recovery. Focus should be on containing fresh infection spread and economic revival," the RBI Governor said.

  2. The central bank governor Shaktikanta Das said the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to keep the policy rates unchanged, at its 3-day review meet that began on Monday.

  3. The MPC has now kept the key benchmark rates unchanged since the last four monetary policy reviews.

  4. The central bank had last cut its policy rates on May 22, 2020, in an off-policy cycle, when India was in the caught in the 1st wave of the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic.

  5. The Reserve Bank has slashed its key lending rate i.e. repo rate by 115 basis points since March 2020 to cushion the economy from the shock of coronavirus crisis.

  6. The RBI also maintained its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast at 10.5 per cent for FY22. 

  7. The banking regulator has projected 26.2 per cent growth in the June quarter, 8.3 per cent growth in the September quarters; 5.4 percent in the December quarter and 6.2 per cent in the March quarter.

  8. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank said that it expects retail inflation at 5.2 per cent in the first half of the current fiscal and revised downwards the target to 5 per cent for the quarter ended March.

  9. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation trajectory is likely to be subject to both upside and downside pressures.

  10. Going forward, the food inflation trajectory will critically depend on the temporal and special progress of southwest monsoon in the 2021 season and and taxes on petroleum products, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das added in his press conference.