The RBI has endeavoured to strike the right balance between inflation and growth at this critical juncture, industry experts on Wednesday said after a 50 basis points hike in the key rate by the central bank.
Announcing the credit policy, Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the Indian economy is resilient, though negative global spillovers continue to weigh on the domestic economic growth outlook.
CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said the RBI’s decision to raise the policy repo rate by 50 bps has been noted, given the imperatives of anchoring inflationary expectations.
“The RBI has demonstrated restraint and foresight to strike the right balance between inflation and growth,” he said.
Industry chamber Assocham said the RBI decision to raise the repo rate is largely on the expected lines and seemed unavoidable.
“While the MPC has decided to withdraw the accommodative stance to rein in inflation, it also remains cognizant of the growth imperatives of the economy, retaining the policy rate below the pre-pandemic level,” said Assocham Secretary General Deepak Sood.
Akhil Saraf, founder and CEO of Reloy, said an increase in the repo rate will push the lending rates up and eventually it will hit home-buyers’ pockets.
“However, given the possibility that interest rate goes up by 50-100 basis points, it will still remain under the comfort zone of below 8 per cent per annum. With other factors and market conditions in favour of home buyers, sales momentum is expected to continue without any major hiccups,” he added.
The second hike in repo rate comes within five weeks of the RBI increasing the key interest rate by 40 basis points in an off-cycle monetary policy review on May 4.
PHD Chamber President Pradeep Multani believed that hard lending from an accommodative policy stance is disappointing as it will have an impact on costs of doing business and production possibilities.
“Any increase in the interest rate increases the costs of doing business, which is already high vis-a-vis high raw material costs amid geopolitical distress,” Multani pointed out.
On announcements regarding cooperative banks, Andromeda and Apnapaisa Executive Chairman V Swaminathan said the RBI has considered the cooperative banks as equal partners in the growth, thus raising their lending limit by 100 per cent.
“This move can be seen as a major boost for the real-estate sector as it will now enhance the availability of easy credit for the residential housing segment,” Swaminathan said.
Askcred.Com founder and CEO Aarti Khanna said the RBI has increased the existing limits on individual housing loans by cooperative banks both for Urban Co-operative Banks and Rural Cooperative Banks.
“This would give some uplift to the affordable housing segment,” Khanna said.
Deloitte India Economist Rumki Majumdar said the 100 bps increase in inflation projection by the RBI is worth noting.
Majumdar said with steps taken to increase the penetration of digital payment systems, it is expected that the velocity of money (the pace at which an average rupee changes hand) will likely be rising in the future.