India cuts repo rate to decade-low 4.4pc

Friday, 27 March 2020

India’s central bank has slashed its key interest rate by a sizable 75 basis points to 4.4 per cent from 5.15 per cent to ease financing troubles caused by the coronavirus outbreak and help revive the economy.

That’s the lowest benchmark rate the Reserve Bank of India has charged on lending to commercial banks, its so-called ‘repo rate,’ since March 2010, reports AP.

The announcement by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das came on Friday a day after India’s finance ministry announced a 1.7 trillion ($22 billion) economic stimulus package.

The package included delivering grains and lentil rations for three months to 800 million people, some 60 per cent of the world’s second-most populous country.

The RBI held a monetary policy committee meeting nearly a week early to cope with the disruptions to the economy due to a three-week lockdown announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

The RBI will also allow banks a 3-month moratorium on payments of installments on loans.