Vijayawada, Dec 22: RBI Governor D Subbarao today said the economic growth rate for the current fiscal is projected at 7.6 per cent as against earlier projections of 8 per cent.
While hoping to tame down the inflation below 7 per cent by the year end, Subbarao said he was not sure when the benchmark interest rates will be reduced.
“Challenges before the RBI is to balance growth and inflation. Previously (GDP) growth was at 9 per cent and we hoped that it may cross 10 per cent previously.
“But due to various factors, RBI projected it will be 8 per cent. But finally in the recent review it is projected to 7.6 per cent,” Subbarao said.
Replying to a query on interest rates, the governor said: “I cannot say when and how the Interest rates will come down”.
After 13 hikes in key policy rates since March 2010, the RBI in its mid-quarterly policy review opted to keep the repo rate, at which it lends to the banks, unchanged at 8.5 per cent, apparently due to the worsening global economic outlook and decelerating domestic growth.
Reverse repo (rate at which the RBI borrows from banks) is also kept at 7.5 per cent.
Subbarao said in addition to the constraints in food supply and its prices, the international oil prices also flared up inflation levels.