Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hailed as ‘giant steps to safeguard our economy’ the relief measures announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), today, for the finance sector in the wake of the ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown, which was announced by PM Modi on Tuesday.
The RBI’s relief measures, notably, come a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled a Rs 1.70 lakh crore package to mitigate the citizens’ hardships during the lockdown, announced to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just hours after RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das’ press conference, the Prime Minister tweeted: “Today, the RBI has taken giant steps to safeguard our economy from the impact of the coronavirus. The announcements will improve liquidity, reduce cost of funds, help middle class and businesses.”
Earlier, speaking at the press conference, Governor Das remarked that the Indian banking sector was ‘stable’ and in ‘better shape’ than what it was in after the 2008 global economic slowdown. “This too shall pass,” he said.
Various highlights of today’s announcement by the RBI include the reduction of the policy repo rate by 75 basis points (4.40 % from 5.15%) and that of the reverse repo rate by 90 basis points to 4%.
Also, all commercial banks, all-India financial institutions and NBFCs are now permitted to allow a moratorium of three months on the payment of installments in respect of all term loans outstanding as on March 1, 2020.
Notably, Friday, is day three of the three week lockdown. Thus far, India has reported over 700 positive coronavirus cases, including 17 deaths.