The RBI Governor-headed six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which began its deliberations on October 4, is scheduled to announce the bi-monthly monetary policy review on Friday.
Bank of Baroda Chief Economist Madan Sabnavis said the RBI is “most likely continue with the existing rate structure as well as policy stance. Hence, the repo rate will be retained at 6.5 per cent with the stance of withdrawal of accommodation”. Icra Limited Senior Vice President and Group Head – Financial Sector Ratings – Karthik Srinivasan also expects the MPC to maintain the status quo on the policy rate and stance.
“The significant tightening in liquidity that was seen in the second half of September is unlikely to sustain, particularly with the release of liquidity from incremental CRR imposed in previous policy,” he said.
The Reserve Bank has been mandated by the government to ensure the Consumer Price Index (CPI) based retail inflation remains at 4 per cent, with a margin of 2 per cent on either side. The retail inflation was 6.83 per cent in August, above the RBI’s comfort level. In an off-cycle meeting in May 2022, the MPC raised the policy rate by 40 basis points, and it was followed by rate hikes of varying sizes, in each of the five subsequent meetings till February 2023. The repo rate was raised by 250 basis points cumulatively between May 2022 and February 2023.
The MPC consists of three external members and three officials of the RBI. The external members of the panel are Shashanka Bhide, Ashima Goyal, and Jayanth R. Varma. Besides Governor Shaktikanta Das, the other RBI officials in MPC are Rajiv Ranjan (Executive Director) and Michael Debabrata Patra (Deputy Governor).