Policy review pragmatic, indicates RBI’s concerns on inflation: Bankers

MUMBAI: Bankers on Friday said the Reserve Bank‘s policy review signalling the withdrawal of accommodative measures as the focus shifts to inflation is “pragmatic”, which reflects its concern on rising prices.
They also welcomed specific moves like allowing interoperability in card-less withdrawal at banks, saying it will give an impetus to QR code-enabled payments, and also the hike in the held to maturity category of statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) securities.
“The RBI monetary policy announcement is a pragmatic assessment of the current uncertain economic environment. The RBI has rightfully re-calibrated the growth and inflation numbers and announced a slew of measures to support the government borrowing program in a non-disruptive manner,” SBI’s chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara said.
Industry lobby grouping Indian Bank Association‘s chairman and state-run Punjab National Bank’s chief executive and managing director A K Goel sad the moves indicate RBI’s “concern on prices”.
The decision to introduce a standing deposit facility (SDF) was hailed by Goel as a positive measure for the market which will aid the government’s large borrowing programme as well.
“Given the current geopolitical situation the increasing inflation projections and reducing growth outlook was also expected,” he said.
Pricing of bank loans linked to repo rate will not be affected as the repo rate has been kept unchanged, Goel said.
State-run Bank of India’s head Atanu Kumar Das called it as another ‘feel-good’ policy, adding that the projected numbers warrant more frequent revisits in the face of dynamically evolving operative environment, within and outside India.
Foreign lender Citi, which recently announced a deal to sell its local retail business to Axis Bank, said the policy signals that we are on the path of normalisation in terms of operations, and also indicates the shift towards inflation management, its chief executive for the country Ashu Khullar said.
His peer Zarin Daruwala, who heads Standard Chartered’s operations, said the moves will bolster macroeconomic stability and also help fortify the rupee.
Among the non-bank lenders, Shriram City Union Finance’s Y S Chakravarti said the withdrawal of accommodation moves in the next 3-4 months is inevitable.
NBFCs’ borrowings will be at a slightly higher rate as a result of the SDF, Chakravati said, adding that deposit rates are already inching higher, which will take the lending rates northwards in second half of the fiscal.

Indianshri

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