The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday kept its key interest rate unchanged at 6% for the fourth time in succession at its final bi-monthly monetary policy review of the fiscal, citing concerns about the inflationary push by rising global crude oil prices.
Announcing the policy review, the RBI said its decision is consistent with the neutral stance of the central bank aimed at achieving its median inflation target of 4%.
The continuing rise in food and fuel prices pushed India's annual retail inflation rate over the five per cent mark in December 2017 to 5.21 per cent, from 4.88 per cent in November 2017.
Following are the highlights of the RBI's 6th bi-monthly monetary policy statement:
1. Key lending rate (repo) unchanged at 6 pc;
2. Reverse repo rate remains at 5.75 pc and marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and Bank Rate at 6.25 pc;
3. Monetary policy's stance neutral;
4. Petrol and diesel prices rose sharply in Jan, reflecting lagged pass-through of past increases in global crude prices;
5. Retail inflation estimated at 5.1 pc in Q4 this fiscal and 5.1-5.6 pc in H1 of FY2018-19;
6. Inflation likely to ease to 4.5-4.6 per cent in H2 of FY19;
7. Gross Value Added (GVA) growth for FY18 seen at 6.6 pc;
8. GVA growth for 2018-19 projected at 7.2 pc;
9. GST stabilising, which augurs well for economic activity;
10. Early signs of revival in investment activity;
11. RBI seeks pick-up in credit growth due to recapitalisation of PSBs and resolution proceedings under IBC;
12. Export growth expected to improve further on account of improving global demand;
13. RBI says focus of Union Budget on rural and infrastructure sectors a welcome development;
14. Five members voted in favour of status quo in interest rate; one member voted for increase of 0.25 pc;
15. Next meeting of the MPC on April 4 and 5.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)