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'RBI to look at macro situation before deciding on rate cut'

Last Updated: Monday, January 7, 2013 - 21:31

New Delhi: Weeks ahead of its third quarter review of monetary policy, RBI Monday said it will look at current macroeconomic situation besides inflation before taking a call on reducing interest rates.

"Definitely today the policy rate is 8 percent. Inflation should come not come down to 3 percent to review the rate but that is depending on the macro economic situation," RBI Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty said here.

He added that 7 percent inflation is definitely not comfort zone.

RBI has at many occasions said that it should be around 5 percent.

The RBI is scheduled to announce its third quarter monetary policy review on January 29. The central bank has hinted that it could go in for an interest rate cut in the review.

Last month, the RBI left key policy rates unchanged in its monetary policy review on concerns of inflation.

The central bank left the short-term lending (repo) rate and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) unchanged at 8 percent and 4.25 percent, respectively.

On the final guideline on the new bank licences, Chakrabarty said it will be released but refused to give any timeline.

"As and when it is released you will come to know," he added.

Last month, Parliament had approved Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill aims at strengthening banking regulation. It allows RBI to supersede boards of private banks and increase the cap on voting rights of private investors in public sector banks to 10 percent, from 1 percent now.

As per the draft guidelines on new bank licences, business houses with successful track record and a minimum capital of Rs 500 crore will be allowed to set up commercial banks. Currently, the minimum capital requirement for opening a bank is Rs 300 crore.

The draft guidelines said companies which are primarily engaged in the real estate business or stock broking will not be eligible for promoting bank.

"Entities or groups having significant (10 percent or more) income or assets or both from real estate, construction and broking activities individually or taken together in the last three years will not be eligible to set up new banks," the draft said.


First Published: Monday, January 7, 2013 - 21:31
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