RBI rate-setting panel starts deliberations on monetary policy, decision on Friday

The rate-setting panel of RBI on Wednesday started its three-day deliberations to decide the next monetary policy amid expectations of continuation of the current interest rate.
Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das
Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das

Mumbai | The rate-setting panel of RBI on Wednesday started its three-day deliberations to decide the next monetary policy amid expectations of continuation of the current interest rate.

Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das will announce the decisions taken by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Friday.

Experts are of the view that the central bank is unlikely to cut the benchmark interest rate (repo) as inflation still remains a matter of concern.

The MPC may also refrain from rate cut as economic growth is picking up, notwithstanding the elevated repo rate of 6.5 per cent prevailing since February 2023.

The central bank last hiked repo rate to 6.5 per cent in February 2023 and since then it has maintained status quo 7 times in a row.

According to a SBI research paper, the central bank needs to continue the current stance of withdrawal of accommodation.

The report titled 'Prelude to MPC Meeting' expects RBI to cut repo rate in third quarter of the current fiscal and "such rate cut cycle is likely to be shallow".

It also said CPI-based retail inflation is expected to remain close to 5 per cent in May (data to be released later this month) and decline thereafter to 3 per cent in July.

Inflation is expected to stay below 5 per cent beginning October till the end of 2024-25 fiscal, it added.

On expectations from RBI, Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com & Proptiger.com said India's economy continued its robust performance, achieving an impressive growth rate of 8.2 per cent in 2023-24, up from 7 per cent in 2022-23.

"In light of this, it is expected that the RBI MPC will maintain its current policy stance amid ongoing inflationary pressures, with a rate cut looking increasingly unlikely this year," he said.

Anantharam Varayur, co-founder, Manasum Senior Living, too expects status quo or reduction in interest rate by the cental bank in the upcoming bi-monthly policy.

"We hope for measures that ease liquidity constraints in the market and boost consumer confidence, which can positively impact real estate sales," Varayur added.

The government has mandated Reserve Bank to ensure retail inflation at 4 per cent with a margin of 2 per cent on either side. Retail inflation was 4.83 per cent in April this year.

Saurabh Rai, CEO Arahas has RBI needs to focus on monetary policy to facilitate funding and incentives for geospatial technology, sustainability solutions.

"Such initiatives will not only drive innovation but also significantly contribute to our national goals of sustainable development and economic resilience. A favourable monetary policy can accelerate the adoption of green technologies, fostering a more sustainable future for India," Rai said.

The MPC consists of three external members and three officials of RBI. External members of the rate-setting panel are Shashanka Bhide, Ashima Goyal, and Jayanth R Varma.

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