Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: Key measures taken by the RBI
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi in his fifth address to the nation, since the countrywide lockdown, announced a financial relief package ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ worth Rs 20 lakh crore to revive the Indian economy. He further stated that Rs 20 lakh crore relief package includes the previous packages announced by the GOI and the central bank, i.e. RBI to deal with the coronavirus distress. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package today at 4 pm. Below are the packages announced by the Reserve Bank of India to ease the economic distress caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 27, 2020, Shaktikanta Das, Governor of Reserve bank of India announced 75 basis points cut in Repo Rate to deal with the economic distress due to the coronavirus pandemic while the Reverse Repo Rate has been cut by 90 basis points. Repo Rate has been reduced to 4.4% from earlier 5.15%, and the Reverse Repo Rate has been reduced to 4%. RBI's cut in interest rates and liquidity boosting measures sums up to 3.2% of the GDP (about Rs 6.5 lakh crore). Das further said that the Monetary Policy Committee has voted for a sizeable reduction in Repo Rate to revive growth.
RBI Governor has further asked banks to keep the credit flowing amidst the coronavirus chaos. The RBI has also cut Cash Reserve Ratio by 100 basis points to 3% which will release INR 1.37 lakh crore in the market. Deferring NSFR implementation by banks by 6 months, says RBI Governor.
The RBI Governor states that banks may reassess the working capital cycle and that they won't be treated as NPA. A moratorium on term loans, deferment of interest payment will not result in asset classification downgrade. The RBI allows lending institutions, banks to defer interest on working capital repayments by 3 months.
These were the key highlights from the press conference by the RBI Governor, Shaktikanta Das. In this article, we will unveil what do the terms Repo Rate and Reverse Repo Rate mean along with the key differences between the two.
What is Repo Rate?
When any commercial bank approaches the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the funds, RBI charges with a fixed interest. This interest rate at which RBI lends the funds to the commercial banks is known as Repo Rate. For Example: If the Repo Rate is 10% as fixed by RBI per annum and the amount borrowed by the bank from RBI is INR 50,000, then the interest will be INR 5,000 that will be paid by the bank to RBI.
What is the Reverse Repo Rate?
When any commercial bank generates excess funds, they are allowed to deposit the funds in RBI. RBI offers the interest on these deposited funds to the banks. The interest earned on these deposited funds is known as the Reverse Repo Rate. For Example: If the Reverse Repo Rate is 5% as fixed by the RBI per annum and the bank has deposited INR 50,000 in RBI, then the interest that will be given by RBI to the bank will INR 2,500 per annum.
Major differences between the Repo Rate and Reverse Repo Rate are as follows:
1- High Repo Rate helps in draining the excess liquidity from the market while a high Reverse Repo Rate helps to inject liquidity into the economic system.
2- Repo Rate (where RBI lend funds) is always greater than Reverse Repo Rate (where bank deposits funds in RBI).
3- Repo Rate is used to control the inflation whereas the Reverse Repo Rate is used to control the money supply in the economy.
4- Higher the Repo Rate lesser will be the borrowing of funds from RBI while Higher the Reverse Repo Rate more will be the transfer of funds from commercial banks to RBI.
5- Lesser the Repo Rate more will be the borrowing of funds from RBI while Lesser the Reverse Repo Rate less will be the transfer of funds from commercial banks to RBI.
6- When RBI falls short on money, it increases the Reverse Repo Rate and whenever there is an excess supply of money in the market, RBI increases the Repo Rate.
7- Repo Rate fulfils the deficiency of funds while the Reverse Repo Rate ensures the liquidity in the economy.
Amidst the coronavirus chaos, on Thursday Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a 1.7 lakh crore relief package for the poor to ease their economic distress. A day later, that is on Friday, RBI Governor has announced the above-mentioned rate cuts in addition to other announcements to deal with the economic distress amid the coronavirus pandemic.