- 17 Feb 2021
In a 4 to 2 majority in the meeting, RBI brought a sizeable reduction in policy repo rate by cutting down by 75 basis points to 4.4 percent. The Reverse repo rate was also cut by 90 basis point to bring it down to 4 %. Even cash credit schemes and credit card payments have been granted deferment during the moratorium.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday announced series of measures to counter ongoing sickness in the Indian Economy due to COVID-19 pandemic. RBI Chief Shaktikanta Das, addressing the press said that the MPC meeting was advanced to 24th, 26th and 27th of March instead of April considering the urgency of the pandemic and an immediate lockdown imposed to counter its effects. He said that RBI is working on few major objectives to counter this crisis. They are (i) Increasing sizeable liquidity in the system. (ii) Refining monetary transmission for the flow of bank credit. (iii) Relaxing economical stress caused by COVID-19 disruptions by easing repayment procedures in form of moratorium. (iv) Enhancing the functioning of already volatile markets. For each of the above objectives, RBI announced a number of steps taken by the MPC. In a 4 to 2 majority in the meeting, RBI brought a sizeable reduction in policy repo rate by cutting down by 75 basis points to 4.4 percent. The Reverse repo rate was also cut by 90 basis point to bring the same down to 4 percent. “All commercial banks (including regional rural banks, small finance banks and local area banks), co-operative banks, all-India Financial Institutions, and NBFCs (including housing finance companies) (“lending institutions”) are permitted to grant a moratorium of three months on payment of all instalments falling due between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020”, stated RBI. In a revised circular RBI has affirmed the point that the repayment schedule for all term loans will be shifted across the board by period of three months. Interest shall continue to accrue on the outstanding portion of the term loans during the moratorium period. Moreover, this moratorium under no circumstances is treated as concession or change in terms and conditions of loan agreements due to financial difficulty of the borrower. Even cash credit schemes, ODs and credit card payments have been granted deferment during the moratorium. However, the accumulated accrued interest is liable to be recovered right after the completion of the moratorium period. The cash reserve ratio (CRR) of all banks has been reduced by 100 basis points to 3.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) with effect from the reporting fortnight beginning March 28, 2020, resulting in increased liquidity of ₹ 1,37,000 crore in the banking sector. The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate has also been reduced to 3 percent bringing an overall liquidity of ₹ 3,74000 crores in to the system. Unprecedented times require unprecedented measures, quoted RBI Chief. And as it seems for now, RBI is indeed walking the talk and may have produced the required vaccine for the Indian Economy which is currently on ventilators due to COVID-19 pandemic.