The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has detailed the meeting schedule of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) for FY23, with the rate-setting panel set to meet next week.
As per the RBI Act, the MPC must meet a minimum of four times in a year, with the meeting schedule for a year to be published by the central bank at least one week before the first meeting for that year.
The six-member MPC is widely expected to make no change to the policy repo rate in its first meeting of FY23, to be held between April 6-8.
After next week, the MPC will meet on June 6-8, August 2-4, September 28-30, and December 5-7, before closing out FY23 with its final meeting in February 6-8, 2023, the RBI said in a statement on March 30.
The RBI will release its six-monthly Monetary Policy Report next week along with the MPC's resolution. The Monetary Policy Report will be keenly eyed for the central bank's inflation forecasts and the assumptions underpinning them. With global crude oil prices skyrocketing in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, all eyes will be on the price of India's crude oil basket the RBI assumes in its models while arriving at its inflation forecast.
The most recent edition of the Monetary Policy Report, released in October 2021, revealed the central bank assumed a price of $75 per barrel for the second half of FY22. However, the average price of India's crude oil basket was $83 a barrel in October 2021-February 2022.
The RBI's current forecast says headline retail inflation will average 5.7 percent in January-March 2022, 4.9 percent in April-June 2022, 5.0 percent in July-September 2022, 4.0 percent in October-December 2022, and 4.2 percent in January-March 2023. For FY23 as a whole, Consumer Price Index inflation is seen at 4.5 percent, as per the RBI. However, economists think this is a huge underestimate and will likely be revised sharply upwards next week.