New Delhi: Fall in inflation rate to over 3- year low, India Inc Tuesday stepped-up the demand for cut in interest rates by the Reserve Bank to boost industrial production and revive the country's economic growth.
"The softening in inflation should give more space to RBI to consider further rate cuts. This is important given the fact that the lending rates have not really come down despite a 1.25 percent cut in repo rate between April 2012 and May 2013," Ficci President Naina Lal Kidwai said.
Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said: "The need of the hour is to boost investor sentiments. The policy makers have to ensure that the cost of finance to the end-user becomes competitive."
In order to boost growth amid some softening of inflation, RBI earlier this month cut the key interest rate by 0.25 percent. It is scheduled to announce its mid-quarter policy review on June 17.
Softening food prices pulled down inflation to over three year-low of 4.89 percent in April, giving the RBI space to further ease interest rates.
Declining for the third straight month, inflation has returned to the comfort zone of the Reserve Bank for the first time since November 2009, when it was 4.78 percent.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said: "The RBI should revisit interest rate regime as high interest rate is affecting manufacturing and exports. The effect of the same is seen in depressed Index of Industrial Production (IIP) numbers and moderate export growth."
Ficci said meanwhile that the industrial output data released for March came with a silver lining signalling a hope of revival in growth. The IIP index recorded a growth of 2.5 percent in March 2013 as against 0.6 percent growth in February 2013.
"The current uptick in industrial production numbers combined with decline in inflation numbers augurs well for the economy. However, it still cannot be concluded that the growth is back on a sustained basis. So, we will have to strive harder to keep up this momentum," Kidwai said.
First Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 18:56