RBI Monetary Policy 2019 Updates: Forensic audit on PMC Bank scam expected by month-end, says Shaktikanta Das

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RBI Monetary Policy 2019 Updates: Forensic audit on PMC Bank scam expected by month-end, says Shaktikanta Das
  • 14:17 (IST)

    'Govt, RBI should initiate stronger measures to break the logjam'

    "We note with concern that the transmission of the earlier policy rate cuts has not happened adequately, and are disappointed with the decision to not cut the repo rate as there is a need for continued action on the policy rate front,” said Sandip Somany, president, FICCI.

    With the growth projection for the current year being revised down from 6.1 percent to 5 percent, both government and the central bank should initiate some stronger measures to break the logjam particularly in the stressed sectors of the economy, he said.  

  • 14:09 (IST)

    'RBI pushing onus of growth support to govt'

    "We believe that recent inflation prints have taken precedence over the growth concerns. In fact, seemingly, the RBI is pushing the onus of growth support to the government," said Kotak Institutional Equities.

    Further, the RBI wants to wait-and-watch the effect of government’s measures and RBI’s past rate cuts, it said.

  • 14:03 (IST)

    'Markets will stay edgy in near term'

    “By deciding to pause policy rate cut at this juncture, MPC managed to not only surprise the market but also change track from its earlier message of “growth first…. till whenever it takes” in favour of prudence till macro-dynamics remain in flux, said Rajni Thakur, economist, RBL Bank.

    "While the incoming macro data was already making market dynamics unpredictable, now with surprises on monetary policy, markets will likely stay edgy in near term,” Thakur said.

  • 13:58 (IST)

    'Imperative for banks to reduce lending rates immediately'

    The growth trajectory of the real estate sector will depend on the successive transmission of rate cuts to the end consumers and translate into lower EMIs, said Surendra Hiranandani, Chairman and Managing Director, House of Hiranandani.  

    However, it has been observed that, despite the reduction in repo rates by the RBI in the previous reviews, it did not have any significant impact on lending rates. Going forward, it is imperative for banks to reduce the lending rates and ensure that the home loan borrowers reap the benefits of this move. 

  • 13:53 (IST)

    'Status quo hikes credibility of RBI's inflation mandate'

    Today's status quo increases the credibility of RBI's inflation mandate, said Nikhil Gupta, chief economist, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

    "We had always believed that today's cut would be the last rate cut in this cycle. We continue to maintain that there will be no more rate cuts now unless inflation falls back towards 4%. It implies that any rate cut is unlikely in the next one year," said Gupta.

  • 13:48 (IST)

    'RBI's rate pause, cut in GDP growth forecast surprising'

    “RBI’s rate pause and the second successive sharp downward revision of the GDP estimate for FY20 have been surprising," said Sujan Hajra, chief economist and executive director, Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.

    More than flare in inflation, lack of transmission of rate cut seems to have been the bigger reason for the rate pause, Hajra said. 

  • 13:26 (IST)

    RBI revises CPI inflation forecast for H2 FY20 to 5.1-4.7%

  • 13:14 (IST)

    'Forensic audit report on PMC Bank soon'

    Forensic audit report on PMC Bank is expected by the end of this month, said the RBI governor. 

  • 13:08 (IST)

    'RBI in cognisance of HDFC Bank net banking issue'

    Deputy governor MK Jain said that RBI is in cognisance of the HDFC Bank net banking issue and that it has been restored fully.

  • 13:07 (IST)

    'RBI against private digital currency'

    Shaktikanta Das said that the central bank is against any kind of private digital currency. 

  • 13:01 (IST)

    'RBI better placed to certain cases to NCLT'

    RBI also in-charge of financial stability and is better placed to refer certain cases to NCLT. It is a pragmatic decision, says Shaktikanta Das.

  • 12:59 (IST)

    Cannot cut rates mechanically every time: RBI

    "We cannot be mechanically cutting rates every time, need to wait for the government and RBI measures to play
    out," says Shaktikanta Das

  • 12:57 (IST)

    'Credit flow slowly revives in NBFC sector' 

    Credit flow is slowly reviving in NBFC sector and funds are being accessed at pre-IL&FS rate by better performing NBFCs, says Shaktikanta Das.

  • 12:54 (IST)

    Monetary policy cannot have multiple targets: RBI

    The RBI governor said that monetary policy cannot have multiple targets. "Target is price stability keeping in mind the objective of growth," Shaktikanta Das said.

  • 12:51 (IST)

    'Won't hesitate to prevent collapse of any large NBFC'

  • 12:47 (IST)

    'Can't rule out fall in direct tax collections'

    The RBI governor has said that fall in the direct collections cannot be ruled out due to economic slowdown. 

  • 12:45 (IST)

    RBI, govt to work in coordinated manner: Shaktikanta Das

    RBI and government will work in a coordinated manner, Shaktikanta Das said. "Both are committed for the revival of growth," said the RBI governor.

  • 12:43 (IST)

    'Books of NBFCs under watch'

    "We are making a deep-dive into the books of non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) wherever required and know where the vulnerabilities lie," says RBI governor Shaktikanta Das.

  • 12:40 (IST)

    Timing of rate cut important: Shaktikanta Das

    RBI governor Shaktikanta Das says that the timing of rate cut is also important to optimise its impact. 

    "Let the 125 bps rate cut impact play out," he said.

  • 12:38 (IST)

    'Core inflation will remain below 4%'

    Core inflation will remain below 4 percent, says RBI governor. 

    The RBI chief said that inflation moderation in the coming months is dependent on several factors.

  • 12:30 (IST)

    RBI to facilitate setting up of self-regulatory body

    Shaktikanta Das has said that that the Reserve Bank will facilitate the setting up of a self-regulatory body (SRB) as a first step towards the development of the secondary market for corporate loans. 

  • 12:26 (IST)

    Pessimism in manufacturing sector: RBI survey

    According to the early results of the Reserve Bank’s industrial outlook survey, overall sentiment in the manufacturing sector remained in pessimism in Q3FY20 due to continuing downbeat sentiments on production, domestic and external demand, and the employment scenario.

  • 12:25 (IST)

    Exports contract in September: RBI

    Shaktikanta Das said that as regards the external sector, exports contracted in September-October 2019 reflecting the persisting weakness in global trade but non-oil export growth returned to positive territory in October. 

  • 12:23 (IST)

    Sensex drops over 100 points as RBI leaves policy rate unchanged

    Equity benchmark BSE Sensex dropped over 100 points in the afternoon session on Thursday after the the Reserve Bank of India kept the key policy rate unchanged at 5.15 percent and decided to continue with its accommodative stance to support the economy.

  • 12:21 (IST)

    Forex reserves jump to new high of $451.7 bn

    Forex reserves jump to a new high of $451.7 billion as of 3 December, said the RBI governor.

  • 12:19 (IST)

    Inflation rises sharply in November: RBI

    Inflation has increased sharply in November and may stay high for some time, says the RBI governor.

  • 12:18 (IST)

    'Domestic demand slows down'

    RBI governor Shaktikanta Das says that domestic demand has slowed down, which is being reflected in the softening of inflation excluding food and fuel.

    Several government measures and RBI decisions are expected to further feed into the economy, says Das.

  • 12:16 (IST)

    Service sector activity remains weak: Shaktikanta Das

    Shaktikanta Das says that service sector activity generally remained weak in October.

  • 12:13 (IST)

    Marginal pickup in business sentiments likely in Q4: RBI

    Based on the early results, RBI said the business expectations index of the Reserve Bank’s industrial outlook survey indicates a marginal pickup in business sentiments in Q4.

  • 12:11 (IST)

    'Union Budget will provide better insight into further measures for growth'

    RBI said that the forthcoming Union Budget will provide better insight into further measures to be undertaken by the government and their impact on growth. 

  • 12:09 (IST)

    Sensex erases gains after RBI policy announcement

    The BSE Sensex erased the gains in the morning session and slipped into the red after the RBI policy announcement. 

  • 12:07 (IST)

    Rupee slips 8 paise to 71.61 against dollar

    Rupee slips 8 paise to 71.61 against the dollar after the RBI leaves the policy rate unchanged.

  • 12:05 (IST)

    Economic activity weakens further: MPC
     

    The MPC said that economic activity has weakened further and the output gap remains negative. However, several measures already initiated by the government and the monetary easing undertaken by RBI since February 2019 are gradually expected to further feed into the real economy.

  • 12:01 (IST)

    RBI revises inflation projection upwards to 5.1-4.7%

    RBI revises retail inflation projection upwards to 5.1-4.7 percent for the second half of this fiscal.

  • 11:59 (IST)

    GDP growth forecast for 2019-20 reduced to 5%

    RBI cuts GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal year to 5 percent from 6.1 percent in the October policy. 

  • 11:55 (IST)

    CPI inflation projection revised

    The CPI inflation projection is revised upwards to 5.1-4.7 percent for H2 2019-20 and 4.0-3.8 percent for H1 2020-21, with risks broadly balanced.

  • 11:54 (IST)

    All MPC members vote unanimously

    All members of the MPC – Chetan Ghate, Pami Dua, Ravindra H Dholakia, Michael Debabrata Patra, Bibhu Prasad Kanungo and Shaktikanta Das – voted in favour of the decision.  

  • 11:53 (IST)

    MPC to continue with accommodative stance

    The MPC also decided to continue with the accommodative stance as long as it is necessary to revive growth, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target   

  • 11:49 (IST)

    No cut in interest rate, RBI maintains repo rate at 5.15%

    The central bank has not cut the interest rate against the expectations and maintained the repo rate at 5.15%.

  • 11:46 (IST)

    Lending activity yet to pick up despite 5 rate cuts in a row

    Despite five consecutive repo rate cuts by RBI, the lending activity is yet to pick up in the country.

    In five reductions so far in 2019, interest rates have been lowered by a total of 135 basis points over concerns that growth momentum is slowing down and also to try to boost liquidity in the financial system. 

  • 11:42 (IST)

    Fall in GDP growth rate major concern

    The decline in GDP growth rate, which fell over six-year-low at 4.5 percent in July-September quarter, was despite a slew of new fiscal policy measures including a large reduction in the base corporate tax rate in a bid to boost private sector investment.

  • 11:34 (IST)

    Rupee opens flat at 71.53 agsinst dollar in early trade ahead of RBI policy decision

    The rupee opened on a steady note at 71.53 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy decision.
     
     
    Forex traders said, the domestic unit was trading in a narrow range as investors are trading cautiously ahead of the RBI policy decision.

  • 11:31 (IST)

    Equities trade higher in opening deals ahead of RBI policy decision

    The share market nudged higher in opening deals on Thursday, helped by hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank later in the day and a possibility of a trade deal between the US and China sooner than speculated.
     
     
    The RBI will announce its monetary policy decision at 1145 hours, followed by a press conference.

  • 11:29 (IST)

    Bankers say RBI likely to cut repo rate by 25 bps

    Most bankers see the Monetary Policy Committee cutting repo rate by 25 bps in today’s RBI Policy.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das on Thursday said the forensic audit report on the scam-hit PMC Bank is expected by the month-end, and efforts are also on to assess the realisable value of assets held by the cooperative that can be monetised.
The RBI has also given its suggestions on changes in regulations that are required for regulating the cooperative bank sector better.

It can be noted that the RBI had on 23 September placed the city-headquartered bank under an administrator and capped the cash withdrawals, leading to public outrage. The curbs have since been lifted in multiple changes.

"There is a forensic audit underway. We will get the report by the end of this month. Assessment of the realisable value of the assets of the bank is also on," Das told reporters after the announcement of the monetary policy.

He said professional valuers are helping in valuation of PMC assets. Separately, there is a coordination mechanism in place consisting of the RBI-appointed administrator and the law enforcement authorities such as the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and RBI officials for asset valuation, he added.

 RBI Monetary Policy 2019 Updates: Forensic audit on PMC Bank scam expected by month-end, says Shaktikanta Das

Shaktikanta Das, RBI governor. Image courtesy: Twitter

"Once we get the forensic auditor report and get a final numbers on the realisable value, then a call will be taken on the further course of action," Das said.

The RBI raised its inflation projection to 5.1-4.7 percent for the second half of the current fiscal on the back of spike in prices of vegetables such as onion and tomatoes.

The central bank had earlier estimated headline inflation at 3.5-3.7 percent for the second half of the ongoing fiscal.

"Going forward, the inflation outlook is likely to be influenced by several factors. First, the upsurge in prices of vegetables is likely to continue in immediate months; however, a pick-up in arrivals from the late kharif season along with measures taken by the government to augment supply through imports should help soften vegetables prices by early February 2020," the RBI said in its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review of the fiscal.

There are incipient price pressures seen in other food items such as milk, pulses, and sugar likely to be sustained, with implications for the trajectory of food inflation, it said.

Retail inflation increased sharply to 4.6 percent in October, propelled by a surge in food prices.

Talking about drivers of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), it said, food inflation spiked to 6.9 percent in October – a 39-month high – pushed up by a sharp increase in prices of vegetables due to heavy unseasonal rains.

Prices of onions, in particular, shot up by 45.3 percent in September and further by 19.6 percent in October, it said.

Inflation in several other food items such as fruits, milk, pulses and cereals also increased, reflecting diverse factors – the cost push of fodder prices in the case of milk; decline in production and sowing area of pulses; and minimum support price effects. Sugar and confectionery prices moved out of deflation in October as sugarcane output shrank on an annual basis, it said.

However, it said domestic demand has slowed down, which is being reflected in the softening of inflation excluding food and fuel. Crude oil prices are expected to remain range bound, barring any supply disruptions due to geo-political tensions.

"Taking into consideration these factors, the CPI inflation projection is revised upwards to 5.1-4.7 percent for H2 of 2019-20 and 4.0-3.8 percent for H1 of 2020-21, with risks broadly balanced," it said.

It is, therefore, prudent to carefully monitor incoming data to gain clarity on the inflation outlook.

The RBI sharply lowered the growth forecast for the current financial year to 5 percent from the earlier estimate of 6.1 percent on account weak domestic and external demand.

India's economic growth according to government data has slipped to over six-year low of 4.5 percent in the second quarter of the current fiscal mainly due to contraction in manufacturing sector output.

"Real GDP growth for 2019-20 is revised downwards from 6.1 percent in the October policy to 5.0 percent, 4.9-5.5 percent in H2 (this fiscal) and 5.9-6.3 percent for H1(2020-21)," RBI said in its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy review.

While improved monetary transmission and a quick resolution of global trade tensions are possible upsides to growth projections, a delay in revival of domestic demand, a further slowdown in global economic activity and geo-political tensions are downside risks, it said.

On the positive side, however, it said, monetary policy easing since February 2019, and the measures initiated by the government over the last few months are expected to revive sentiment and spur domestic demand.

The rate setting Monetary Policy Committee noted that economic activity has weakened further and the output gap remains negative.

However, several measures already initiated by the Government and the monetary easing undertaken by the Reserve Bank since February 2019, are gradually expected to further feed into the real economy, it said.

"Data on corporate finance and on projects sanctioned by banks and financial institutions suggest some early signs of recovery in investment activity, though its sustainability needs to be watched closely. The need at this juncture is to address impediments, which are holding back investments," it said.

Equity benchmark BSE Sensex dropped over 100 points in the afternoon session on Thursday, after the Reserve Bank of India kept the key policy rate unchanged at 5.15 percent and decided to continue with its accommodative stance to support the economy.

After opening higher by 84.17 points at 40,934.46 in opening deals, the 30-share index pared all gains to turn negative after the policy announcement by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

It was trading 100.56 points, lower at 40,749.73 at 1149 hours. Similar movement was seen on the NSE and the broader NSE Nifty was trading 11.25 points, or 0.09 percent, down at 12,031.95 at 1212 hrs.

Top losers in the Sensex pack included Sun Pharma, Yes Bank, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank shedding up to 2 percent.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das-headed Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has kept the repo rate unchanged at 5.15 percent.

The MPC also decided to continue with the accommodative stance as long as it is necessary to revive growth, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target.

The central bank also revised GDP growth downwards to 5 percent for 2019-20 from 6.1 percent projected in its October policy.

"The Monetary Policy Committee recognises that there is monetary policy space for future action. However, given the evolving growth-inflation dynamics, the MPC felt it appropriate to take a pause at this juncture," the RBI said in its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy for this fiscal.

The panel decided to continue with the accommodative stance as long as it is necessary to revive growth, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target.

All the six members of the MPC voted in favour of a rate pause.

The CPI inflation projection is revised upwards to 5.1-4.7 per cent for H2 FY20 and 4-3.8 per cent for H1 FY21.

If the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cuts the repo rate today, it would be the sixth reduction in the short-term lending rate this financial year.

Experts are of the view that the RBI may cut interest rates for the sixth straight time today to support growth that has continued to slip to more than six-year low due to slump in manufacturing.

RBI has cut interest rates on every single occasion the multi-member MPC has met since Shaktikanta Das took over as the Governor of RBI in last December.

In five reductions so far in 2019, interest rates have been lowered by a total of 135 basis points over concerns that growth momentum is slowing down and also to try to boost liquidity in the financial system.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth slowed sharply to 4.5 percent in the July-September quarter, hit by a slump in manufacturing output, which contracted by 1.0 percent. The pace of GDP growth has moderated from the 5 percent rate in April-June and 7 percent in July-September quarter of 2018.

Das had previously stated that interest rates will reduce until growth revives and this gives confidence that interest rates may be reduced at the end of three-day monetary policy review beginning December 3, a banker, wishing not to be identified, said.

"With the RBI Monetary Policy Committee having decided to retain an accommodative stance following its October rate cut, further rate cuts are possible if economic conditions remain weak," said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific Chief Economist at IHS Markit.

The fall in GDP growth rate was despite a slew of new fiscal policy measures including a large reduction in the base corporate tax rate in a bid to boost private sector investment.

Rumki Majumdar, Economist, Deloitte India said inflation is low and is expected to remain so because of the excess capacity in the economy. "This gives the RBI the elbow room to cut rates, which is highly anticipated in the upcoming December meeting."

In doing so, RBI may look past the recent uptick in inflation last month, largely attributed to vegetables such as onions. But importantly, there has been a slide in core inflation.

Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd chief economist Nikhil Gupta said: "We are afraid that expectations of better growth in 3QFY20 (October-December) may not pan out. Leading indicators suggest that October (festival month) was the worst in the current cycle. We believe that growth could weaken further to around 4 per cent in 3QFY20, which will mark the trough."

"Our full-year growth forecast, thus, is revised down from 5.7 per cent earlier to 4.5 per cent for FY20," he said.

Ranen Banerjee, Leader Public Finance and Economics, PwC India, said the second quarter GDP numbers made it more imperative for a fiscal led priming as the monetary policy interventions clearly are not transmitting.

"Thus, just to depend on another rate cut by RBI in the upcoming MPC meeting may not be sufficient. The situation demands a coordinated fiscal priming on areas with higher multipliers and where spends could be immediate combined with a monetary policy push to address the effective transmission of rate cuts to the NBFCs. Effect of rural demand uptick on Q3 numbers will be crucial to avert a sub 5 per cent annual growth rate," Banerjee said.

Sreejith Balasubramanian, Economist - Fund Management, IDFC AMC said bottoming-out of growth could be further down the road and recovery is unlikely to be V-shaped as consumer demand, credit supply and risk appetite remain lacklustre.

"This and the falling core-CPI should allow the RBI focus more on growth, while a major fiscal stimulus is hindered by the lack of available household financial savings," he said.

Rajni Thakur, Economist, RBL Bank said the growth in the second half of the year could remain evasive unless government pumps in more stimulus and continues to heavy lift growth push through the fiscal year.

"The grind up is going to be slow and heavily dependent on fiscal support to come out of current growth recession."

Majumdar said aggressive asset sales and privatisation reforms will give the government some fiscal space to incur counter-cyclical fiscal policies to boost growth without widening the fiscal deficit.

"Confronted with the sharp slowdown in economic growth momentum, the Indian government should give a high priority to implementing additional measures to bolster manufacturing output and kick-start an upturn in the investment cycle.

"Accelerated government spending on infrastructure projects such as roads, railways and ports, as well as urban infrastructure such as affordable housing and hospitals, are the type of fiscal policy measures that could help to revive economic growth momentum within a relatively short timeframe," Biswas said.

While the RBI has been helping through its monetary policy easing measures, the impact is likely to be more protracted, since monetary policy stimulus effects on the real economy generally act with long lags, he said.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 05, 2019 14:17:48 IST