Home and vehicle loans to be cheaper as RBI cuts rates

RBI Policy MPC Cuts Benchmark Rate RBI Governor Emphasises Growth

RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the designated inflation nutter, also changed its stance to neutral allowing itself more headroom to either hike or cut rates in the near future.

It also changed the policy stance to "neutral" from the earlier "calibrated tightening", signalling further softening on its approach to rates.

After months of maintaining status quo over the key lending rate, the RBI today finally announced a Repo Rate Cut by 0.25%.

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According to Indian Express reports, the reverse repo rate under the LAF now stands adjusted to 6.0 per cent and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.5 per cent.

A former economic affairs secretary, who now has the charge of central bank and is perceived to be close to the Union government, will not take "no" from banks on rate cuts too quickly.

"These decisions are in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent while supporting growth", it added.

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The RBI cut its estimates on headline inflation which cooled off to a 18-month low of 2.2 per cent in December for the next year, and expects the number to come at 2.8 per cent in March quarter, 3.2-3.4 per cent in first half of next fiscal and 3.9 per cent in third quarter of FY20.

In its previous monetary policy review in December 2018, the RBI had kept interest rates unchanged but held out a promise to cut them if the upside risks to the inflation do not materialise.

The gross domestic product (GDP) growth is likely to be influenced by growth in bank credit and overall financial flows to the commercial sectors, though slowing global demand could play a dampener, said an RBI document released after the three-day meeting of the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). In its budget on Feb 1, the government doled out cash to farmers and tax cuts to middle-class families, at the cost of a wider fiscal deficit and larger borrowing. The next meeting of the MPC is scheduled from April 2 to 4.

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