Sanjiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Finserv, says that he expected the RBI to be more proactive at this stage and go ahead and cut rate to boost the sentiments.
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Below is the edited transcript of his interview to CNBC-TV18.
Q: There has been no change in the RBI's policy rate but there is a clear indication that liquidity will be available in the system by way of buying government bonds in open market purchases. There is a clear promise of a rate cut in January. What is your sense of your own cost of money and your own lending rate? Are you likely to see some fall in your cost of money or are you immediately likely to lower interest rates with this kind of a promise?
A: In our situation, we had started seeing softening of rates a bit on expectation of future rate cuts. I think growth is a large issue and there is news that inflation has started to soften. I hoped that RBI would be proactive. Right now, we are in a situation where we are seeing poor growth and we need to be proactive.
Q: In your interaction with your big consumers and customers, do you feel that the promise of easing of rates will spur them into having confidence to borrow and invest or borrow and consume? Do you expect that promise itself to improve the credit offtake?
A: Consumer buying behaviour is dependent on issues like interest rates and overall his own confidence on the economy, how he sees job growth. No capital investment is taking place. When the consumer sees overall negative news on the economy, automatically his own perception is to hold on to his money and avoid spend. We are seeing this trend.
Q: So you are not expecting a credit offtake or a fall in rates, do you see a cut in January?
A: I am not an economist to comment whether the number will improve or not. I think we need some significant improvement and this will not happen by just waiting and watching. I am disappointed; At this stage, I expected the RBI to be more proactive.