The Reserve Bank of India is committed to its mandate to keep prices stabile while keeping its growth objective, deputy governor in charge of monetary policy, Michael Patra, said in a memorial lecture on Friday.
The central bank had cut its key lending rate to a record low of 4% in response to the pandemic and has kept it there since May 2020 but concerns over the need for policy normalisation have been growing in recent months with inflation edging higher.
“The RBI remains committed to revive and sustain growth on a durable basis and continue to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target going forward,” Patra who is also a member of the central bank’s six-member monetary policy committee said.
Patra said the impact of all the conventional and unconventional measures that the central bank has taken since the onset of the pandemic is still unravelling.
The RBI’s measures have contributed significantly in engineering the turnaround in the Indian economy, supported by rising financial inclusion and digitalisation,” he added.
India’s retail inflation accelerated to a five-month high of 5.59% in December.
Patra said despite India being on course to becoming among the fastest growing economies of the world, private consumption and investment are still a work in progress, and the restoration of livelihoods and the revival of the micro, small and medium enterprises is a formidable task.
The speech comes just ahead of the federal budget presented by the finance minister in Parliament on Feb. 1 and the RBI’s monetary policy committee meeting which is scheduled to take place between Feb. 7-9.
“The pandemic continues to shape the future, but the RBI remains armed and battle ready,” Patra said.
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