India cuts interest rates to shore up Covid-19 ravaged economy

Amid coronavirus crisis RBI extends loan moratorium till August

Amid coronavirus crisis RBI extends loan moratorium till August

The RBI also lowered the reverse repo rate, the rate at which it borrows from commercial banks, by 40 basis points.

"The Bank now expects GDP in 2020 to contract by 7.0%, compared to the 6.1% contraction forecast in April [2020]". "Simultaneous fiscal, monetary and administration measures will create conditions for a gradual revival of activity in the second half of 2020-2021". "The RBI will continue to remain vigilant and in battle readiness to use all its instruments and even fashion new ones, as recent experience has demonstrated, to address dynamics of the unknown future". "In view of the extension of the lockdown and continuing disruptions on account of COVID-19, it has been chose to permit lending institutions to extend the moratorium on term loan instalments by another three months, i.e., from June 1 to August 31, 2020", RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said.

RBI announced voluntary retention route for FPIs and allowed extension of 3 months to meet 75% utilisation of investment limits. He added that the lending institutions are being permitted to restore the margins for working capital to the origin level by March 31, 2021.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das forecast that the economy will contract in fiscal 2020-21. This will have a rollover facility to upto one year.

Easing the lockdown in the coming months is expected to help the economy's recovery only in the short term, Kganyago said. This he said is going to provide additional liquidity support to the MSME sector.

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Earlier in the day, RBI's rate setting panel cut key rates by 0.40 percent for the second consecutive time during the pandemic after pre-poning its scheduled meeting. He added that an improvement in passing on a lower rate to borrowers has been noticed across various business segments. In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent stress on these state government finances, Shaktikanta Das said that RBI has chose to relax the rules governing withdrawal from the CSF, while at the same time ensuring that depletion of the fund balance is done prudently.

The decision follows two massive rate cuts during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown - the first in March, and then in April, of 100 basis points each, and factoring the 25 basis point cut in January, bring the total total reduction of 275 basis points this year so far.

The MPC expected the high inflation rate to be short-lived, expecting it to fall below 4 per cent in the second half of the current financial year. Das used figures released by the agriculture ministry to say that amid this encircling gloom, agriculture and allied activities have provided a beacon of hope.

The Governor also said that consumer durables production fell by 33 per cent in March 2020 as a result of the private consumption slump. However, in a year in which world trade will shrink, domestic demand is where the action has to be. This takes the repo rate to a 50-year low, from 4.25% to 3.75%. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das says an off-cycle meeting of the monetary policy committee has been done.

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