According to the data, economic growth in India has slowed somewhat due to the third wave of COVID-19. At the same time, inflation tends to decrease, so the country's monetary policy committee decided to maintain its discount rate and exchange rate.
India keeps the base rate low, attracting investors
"Inflationary pressures in India continue to be driven mainly by supply factors, and recent publications also reflect the adverse effects of the base," Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das wrote in minutes published on Thursday.
"The expected slowdown in inflation rates in the next fiscal year makes it possible for monetary policy to remain adaptive. At the same time, the economic recovery from the pandemic remains incomplete and uneven, and continued support from various policy measures is still crucial for a sustainable recovery."
Consumer prices in India rose 6.01% in January compared to the same month last year, compared with a revised 5.66% year-on-year increase in December, helped by rising prices for food, fuel, and household items.
But the RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left the benchmark repo rate unchanged at 4.0%, sticking to its policy of accommodative policy at its last meeting.
RBI Deputy governor Michael Patra said that the messages from incoming high-frequency indicators were ambiguous, which required political support, while inflation was approaching a tipping point, and it was projected to decline throughout 2022/23.
The only dissenter in the MPC, external member Jayant Varma, however, said that since monetary policy is lagging, it is important to set policy based on the expected state of the economy three to four quarters ahead, and not in terms of where it was at that time. meetings.
Varma said that while data and forecasts indicate that real interest rates should remain low, they should become moderately positive during 2022/23 and that a slight increase in nominal interest rates would be required.
Varma, like others, voted to keep the repo rate at 4% but voted against maintaining an adaptive position for two reasons.
"First, the transition to a neutral position is long overdue. Second, the ongoing rant about combating the harmful effects of the pandemic has become counterproductive and diverts MPC's attention from the main issue of overcoming recessionary trends that are rooted in the past. at least until 2019," he wrote.
Of course, one cannot disagree with him. However, investors attracted by low-interest rates on loans are happy to use the regional niche for broad trade in all markets - from raw materials to foreign exchange.