India: RBI to focus efforts on reviving growth

  • India’s central bank wants to focus all its energies on reviving the country’s economic growth given that inflation’s momentum is declining, deputy governor at the Reserve Bank of India Michael Patra said.
  • “Our sense is that headline inflation has peaked in Jan 22 and from hereon it will ease down to the target of 4% by 4Q22,” Patra said.
  • “And this has provided us the space to maintain policy rates low and persevere with an accommodative stance so that we can focus all energies on accelerating and broadening the recovery,” said Patra, speaking on a central banks panel discussion at the Asia Economic Dialogue.
  • The RBI has come under criticism from several quarters, including economists, for not unwinding its extraordinary monetary stimulus despite inflation having crept up towards the upper end of the RBI’s 2-6% target band.
  • Patra said he thinks the view that the RBI is behind the curve on withdrawing the monetary policy stimulus is unfair and after India having seen the worst growth contractions globally in the initial phase of the pandemic, support for economic recovery was still warranted.
  • Patra said inflation in India is “appearing elevated purely due to base effects” and should come down soon with the month-on-month inflation momentum clearly showing a declining trend.
  • Patra said the RBI has the headroom to support growth and it would do so. He also said India would be likely to take a different path compared to the rest of the world in terms of its monetary policy going ahead and said the RBI deserves the right to choose its own time for normalising policy.

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