Amid fears of poor monsoon impacting food inflation, the Reserve Bank may opt for status quo on interest rate in its bi-monthly monetary policy review to be unveiled on Tuesday.
The food inflation remaining over 8 percent mark will weigh heavily on the Reserve Bank, which has been maintaining that containing inflation is its top priority.
Prices of some of the food articles like tomato, onion, potatoes are still quite above normal. With monsoon being below normal, there is a fear that price situation, especially food inflation, may further deteriorate in the coming days. Monsoon deficiency stood at 23 percent in at the end of July.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is scheduled to announce its third bi-monthly monetary policy on August 5.
State Bank of India (SBI) Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said the RBI is likely to keep interest rate intact in the monetary policy review.
“I think status quo (in policy rate) is more likely,” she said.
HDFC Bank Deputy Managing Director Paresh Sukthankar said: “Our view is that policy rates are likely to remain roughly stable.”
He further said: At least, the assumption that we are built in to for the GDP growth in this year, we are counting on major tail winds from interest rate reduction. The pick-up in the economy that we are anticipating is really going to be driven more by the policy environment and the investments picking up but not necessarily on the back of lower interest rates.”
According to Indian Overseas Bank, interest rates will remain same in this policy, but going forward there would be a downward bias.
In the last policy review in June, RBI chose not to tinker with the policy rate. It was the second consecutive time that RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan kept interest rates unchanged.
The repo rate, at which the RBI lends to banks, was retained at 8 percent and the cash reserve ratio (CRR) was kept unchanged at 4 percent.