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RBI announces various monetary measures including increase in CRR

In the light of the current macroeconomic, monetary and anticipated liquidity conditions, and with a view to containing inflation expectations, Reserve Bank of India found it critical to take demonstrable and determined action on an urgent basis. Accordingly, the following monetary measures consistent with the stance of the monetary policy are announced by RBI:

i) It has been decided to increase the fixed repo rate under the LAF by 25 basis points from 7.50 per cent to 7.75 per cent with immediate effect.

ii) The other arrangements regarding the operations of LAF announced on March 2, 2007 will continue until further notice.

iii) The policy of withdrawal of semi-durable and durable elements of liquidity through treasury bills and dated securities under MSS will continue. Accordingly, the Reserve Bank would, subject to variations in liquidity conditions, announce auctions of MSS covering issuances of treasury bills and dated securities on a weekly basis. The auction for Treasury bills under MSS would continue to take place by notifying the amounts under MSS every week along with the regular auction calendar as has been the existing practice. The Reserve Bank would retain the flexibility of reviewing the schedule of auctions under the MSS from time to time, in response to evolving circumstances.

iv) The cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled commercial banks (SCBs), regional rural banks (RRBs), scheduled co-operative banks and scheduled primary (urban) co-operative banks is being increased by one-half of one percentage point of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) in two stages, effective from the fortnights indicated below:

April 14, 2007 - 6.25

April 28, 2007 - 6.50

As a result of the above increase in the CRR, an amount of Rs.15,500 crore of resources of banks would be absorbed.

v) The interest rate applicable on eligible CRR balances (i.e., the amount of reserves between the statutory minimum CRR and the CRR prescribed by the RBI) shall be reduced to 0.5 per cent per annum from the present 1.0 per cent per annum with effect from the fortnight beginning April 14, 2007.

In view of the following notable developments, Since the monetary measures that were announced on February 13, 2007, RBI has decided to announce new measures:

(a) The general index of industrial production increased by 11.0 per cent during April 2006 to January 2007 as against 8.0 per cent a year ago, as per the release of the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) of March 12, 2007.

(b) Year-on-year inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI), has ruled around 6.5 per cent for the third week in succession up to March 17, 2007 as per the data released today. At a disaggregated level, prices of primary articles, fuel group and manufactured products registered a year-on-year increase of 12.0 per cent, 1.0 per cent and 6.6 per cent as on March 17, 2007 as against 3.7 per cent, 8.9 per cent and 1.7 per cent a year ago.

(c) inflation based on the consumer price index for industrial workers (CPI-IW), urban non-manual employees (CPI-UNME), agricultural labourers (CPI-AL) and rural labourers (CPI-RL) showed year-on-year increase to 7.6 per cent, 7.8 per cent, 9.8 per cent and 9.5 per cent in February 2007, respectively, from 5.0 per cent, 4.8 per cent and 5.0 per cent and 4.7 per cent, a year ago.

(d) The year-on-year growth in non-food bank credit of scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) was 29.5 per cent as on March 16, 2007 as against 32.7 per cent a year ago.

(e) The year-on-year growth in aggregate deposits of SCBs was 24.8 per cent as on March 16, 2007, over and above 18.0 per cent a year ago.

(f) The year-on-year money supply (M3) growth up to March 16, 2007 was 22.0 per cent as against 16.9 per cent a year ago.

(g) Continuation of accelerated external inflows has resulted in accretion of US $ 18.6 billion to the foreign exchange reserves, taking their level from US $ 179.1 billion at the end of January, 2007 to US $ 197.7 billion on March 23, 2007.

(h) Additional liquidity amounting to Rs.23,894 crore was absorbed under the market stabilisation scheme (MSS) during February 1 - March 30, 2007.

(i) Globally, the process of withdrawal of accommodation in monetary policy is being vigorously pursued. Since mid-February, 2007 among the leading central banks, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan have raised key policy rates by 25 basis points each, while the People’s Bank of China raised one year lending rates by 27 basis points and the reserve requirements by 50 basis points. There has been no change in the policy rates of the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand all of which had undertaken prior policy action.

To read background to the RBI's announcement of above monetary measures ... Click here


1. Reserve Bank of India has increased the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of banks by one-half of one percentage point of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) in two stages to 6.00% in Feb 2007 ...
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2. Reserve Bank of India has increased CRR by one-half of one percentage point of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) in two stages, effective from December 23, 2006 and January 06, 2007 to 5.50%.

Click Here For Third Quarter Review of Annual Statement on Monetary Policy for the year 2006-07

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