RBI Announces TLTRO 2.0, Reverse Repo Rate Cut: Key Highlights
This is the second time that the governor was addressing the media since the lockdown was imposed from 25 March.
Addressing the media on Friday, 17 April, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das made several key announcements regarding India’s financial situation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the countermeasures being taken by the government.
Lauding the RBI’s announcements, Prime Narendra Modi later said they “will greatly enhance liquidity and improve supply”. “These steps would help our small businesses, MSMEs, farmers and the poor. It will also help all states by increasing WMA (Way and Means Advances) limits,” he wrote in a tweet.
The RBI governor’s address came as the rupee had registered a steep fall against the US dollar on Thursday and the financial markets continued to be volatile. Here are the key highlights:
- The RBI governor said that Reverse Repo Rate was being lowered by 25 basis points, from 4 percent to 3.75 percent. The Repo Rate, however, remains unchanged.
- He also announced targeted longer-term refinancing operations TLTRO-2.0, initially involving Rs 50,000 crore. 50 percent of these funds are for small and medium sized NBFCs.
- A Rs 50,00 crore special financial facility has been announced for financial institutions such as NABARD, SIDBI and NHB.
- Das said that the IMF’s projection of 1.9 percent GDP growth for India is the highest of all G20 countries and that a sharp turnaround is expected in 2021-22.
- "Macro-economic environment has deteriorated since I last spoke to you," he said, adding that the RBI was monitoring everything closely.
- Automobile production and sales, as well as electricity demand, declined sharply in March, Das said. However, the agriculture and banking sectors were working normally, he added.
- Ways and means limit of states has been raised to 60 percent to help them and not bunch up their borrowing plans, he said.
- He clarified that the 90-day NPA classification norm will exclude the three-month moratorium period till May-end. NBFCs have been allowed to grant relaxed NPA classification to their borrowers.
- Banks will now be required to maintain additional provisioning of 10 percent on standstill accounts.
- Liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) requirement has been brought down from 100 percent to 80 percent with immediate effect. It will be restored to the previous level in a phased manner.
- Banks won't announce dividends until further notice.
- NBFCs’ loans to delayed commercial real estate projects can be extended by a year without restructuring.
- Most data on monsoon, sowing and harvest bodes well for agricultural and rural outlook but the situation is sombre in other industrial sectors.
- He also said that the banking sector is working smoothly. No downtime has been observed for internet or mobile banking, ATMs have worked at 91 percent capacity and, since 27 March, surplus liquidity has increased sharply in the banking system.
The rupee fell by 0.55 percent to a new record low of 76.86 against the US dollar on Thursday, while the equity indices have been on a see-saw in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, losing over 30 percent since January.
This is the second time that the governor is addressing the media since the nationwide lockdown was imposed from 25 March. The lockdown has been extended till 3 May to curb the spread of the virus, as the economy continues to take a hit.
On 27 March, RBI cut the repo rate by a record 75 basis points to a 15-year-low of 4.40 percent. It was the steepest cut since October 2004.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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