RBI’ PLR lowest in nine years, no fresh changes
By Neelima Shankar
Jul 30, 2009
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The financial intermediary and regulator, the Reserve Bank of India has kept its prime lending rates and reverse repo rate intact for the first quarter (2009-10) review of monetary policy, based on economic revival signals.

D Subbarao, Governor, RBI, said, "The benefits of earlier rate cuts since December 2008 have not been passed on to the borrowers, and there is enough scope for banks to cut interest rates."

"Due to high cost of fixed deposits taken by banks earlier, net cost of funds has not fallen substantially, which has made banks reluctant to cut lending rates," he explained.

The repo rate of Reserve Bank of India is currently pegged at 4.75 percent, which is lowest in nine years.

The reverse repo rate of the bank, that helps banks to parks their excess funds is 3.25 percent.

The regulator last revised its rates downwards by 25 basis points in April 2009.

The bank has also kept the cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 5 percent. Cash Reserve Ration is the amount of money banks are required to keep with them as deposits. The bank last revised CRR downwards by 50 basis points in January.

Stressing that economic growth remains its priority, the bank said, "It is worth reiterating that the Reserve Bank will maintain an accommodative monetary stance until there are definite and robust signs of recovery," it said in its review.

The bank rate remains at 6.0 percent. It is reference rates used banks for pricing long-term loans.

The collapse of Wall Street giant, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which signaled the phase of economic downturn, the central bank lowered the policy rate to 3.25 percent against the deposit rate of 3.5 percent.

Since October last year, the central bank has reduced lending rates by an aggregate of 425 basis points in six phases. The reverse repo rate, of the bank has been reduced by 275 basis points since December, in four phases.


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