RBI announces various monetary measures including increase in CRR
In the recent period, monetary policy has been engaged in managing the transition to a higher growth path while ensuring that pressures on actual inflation and inflation expectations are contained. At this juncture, it is important to reinforce the measures already taken for maintaining price stability and anchoring inflation expectations in order to sustain the growth momentum. The role of monetary policy is to maintain stability and so contribute to growth on an enduring basis.
As indicated in the Third Quarter Review of the Annual Statement on Monetary Policy for the year 2006-07, "the outlook for inflation assumes criticality in terms of policy monitoring and action" (paragraph 76). Furthermore, "a judicious balancing of weights assigned to monetary policy objectives would accord priority to stability in order to support growth on a sustained basis" (paragraph 82). Accordingly, it is necessary to reinforce the emphasis on price stability and well-anchored inflation expectations, as set out in the stance of the Third Quarter Review, with a demonstrated commitment in terms of credible policy monitoring and actions. The conduct of monetary policy should continue to demonstrate that inflation beyond the tolerance threshold of the Reserve Bank is unacceptable and that the resolve to ensure price stability is always backed by timely and appropriate policy responses.
In recognition of the cumulative and lagged effects of monetary policy, the Reserve Bank began a graduated withdrawal of accommodation in mid-2004. Since September, 2004 repo/reverse repo rates have been increased by 150 basis points each, the CRR has been raised by 100 basis points, risk weights have been raised in the case of housing loans (from 50 per cent to 75 per cent), commercial real estate (from 100 per cent to 150 per cent) and consumer credit (from 100 per cent to 125 per cent) and general provisioning requirement for standard advances in specific sectors has been raised to 2.0 per cent of standard advances. On February 13, 2007 a further two-stage increase of 25 basis points each in the CRR was announced, effective from the fortnights beginning February 17 and March 3, 2007. Liquidity management was modified on March 2, 2007 to put in place an augmented programme of issuance under the market stabilisation scheme (MSS) with a mix of treasury bills and dated securities in a more flexible manner. In view of the enhanced MSS programme and the need to conduct LAF as a facility for equilibrating very short-term mismatches, daily reverse repo absorptions were limited to a maximum of Rs.3,000 crore, effective March 5, 2007. The stance of monetary policy has progressively shifted from an equal emphasis on price stability along with growth to one of reinforcing price stability with immediate monetary measures and to take recourse to all possible measures promptly in response to evolving circumstances
(Source- RBI notification dated 30th March 2007)
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