RBI rate cuts to depend on inflation scene: Rangarajan

The Reserve Bank's next policy review is scheduled for April 1, 2014.

PTI| Updated: Mar 01, 2014, 00:26 AM IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman C Rangarajan today said policy rate cuts by the RBI will depend on inflation movement.

"I think that it (whether RBI should cut interest rates) will depend on inflation numbers. If inflation continues to trend downwards then it will give room to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut rates," Rangarajan said.

The Reserve Bank's next policy review is scheduled for April 1, 2014.

Wholesale inflation has eased to a seven-month low of 5.05 percent in January, on decline in the rate of price rise in food articles, mainly vegetables.

This was the second straight month of decline in wholesale price based inflation. The WPI was at 6.16 percent in December.

Retail inflation has also fell for the second consecutive month and eased to 24-month low of 8.79 percent in January mainly due to a drop in food prices.

Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December was 9.87 percent down from 11.16 percent in the previous month.

The decline in inflation is much on the expected lines of the Reserve Bank, which had hiked key interest rates by 0.25 percent in its monetary policy review last month.

The Reserve Bank factors in both retail and wholesale price based inflation data in its monetary policy.

There have been demands from various quarters that the RBI should look at relaxing interest rates as inflation was showing signs of easing and slowdown persisted in industrial output.

On third quarter GDP growth number, Rangarajan said, "It (3rd quarter GDP number) is little below expectation but I think that even with this growth rate in third quarter the overall growth rate for the FY 14 will still be 4.9 percent as indicated by the CSO."

Indian economy grew by 4.7 percent in the third quarter this fiscal mainly due to improved performance of agriculture and services sector.

Inaugurated by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Export Data Processing and Monitoring System (EDPMS) is a major green initiative as paper reporting requirement will be eliminated to a substantial extent.

It will provide effective compliance with requirements relating to exports from Foreign Exchange angle and other statutory regulations, the RBI said in a notification.

Besides, it will help in easier tracking and generation of export transactions. It will also eliminate manual data entry work at various stages.

This centralised automated export transaction system has been developed with a single master data base for all exports. The shipping data with the Customs will be the base for all subsequent export follow-up processes, it said.

The data validated at Custom Authorities level will be mirrored in dedicated RBI server and will be shared among the stake holders or agencies involved including banks to monitor both receipt of export documents and repatriation of export proceeds using banking channels.

Under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999, it is obligatory on the part of the exporters to realise and repatriate the full value of the exports.

Export follow-up procedure should ensure that export documents enter the Indian banking channel (for effective reporting) and the proceeds are realised and repatriated to India through the banking channel in India within the stipulated time.

Under the existing mechanism of matching of customs data with banking data was being done by the regional offices of the Foreign Exchange Department (FED) of RBI.