RBI growth projection in line with Eco Survey: Finmin

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The policy repo rate is kept unchanged at 6%, which is the lowest since November 2010.

The reverse repo rate was also unchanged at 5.75 percent. Price stability, after all, remains the Monetary Policy Committee's primary remit, and trend line retail inflation continues to run above its medium-term target of a durable headline inflation reading of 4%.

In a statement released to announce the monetary policy, the central bank said that several factors were expected to accelerate the pace of economic activities in the year.

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For the second half of the year, it expects CPI inflation to be around 4.4 per cent, including the impact of higher house rent allowance for central government employees, compared with its earlier forecast of 4.5 per cent to 4.6 per cent. This can not but be a cause for concern and explains why one of the five MPC members (considered a hawk) in fact asked for an increase in the policy repo rate by 25 basis points. For fiscal 2019, the MPC revised down its inflation outlook supported by recent sharp moderation in food prices and the statistical downside that will accrue in mid-2018 as the impact of the Seventh Pay Commission payments fades. In sum, what has played out through the last fiscal and looks to probably get worse in the coming fiscal is a higher amount of uncertainty with higher inflation risks.

B P Kanungo, deputy governor of RBI, said, "While many central banks are still engaged in the debate, an inter-departmental group has been constituted by the RBI to study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency". Considering this, the RBI lowered its April-September (H1) inflation projection to 4.7-5.1 percent from February's 5.1-5.6 percent and 4.4 percent in H2.

RBI is expected to issue further instructions in this regard within one week.

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However, while briefing the media, RBI Governor Urjit Patel listed financial market volatility and trade war fear as risks.

RBI was not only sanguine about inflation but growth too.

The news renewed concerns that India was moving to impose an outright ban on cryptocurrencies, though a panel formed previous year to study potential regulations has yet to release its findings or any proposals. In this context, it is surprising how the projection for inflation has been reduced, imparting a dovish tone to the monetary policy statement.

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