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Top economists hail RBI's COVID-19 rescue package, say Bazooka unleashed

The MPC cut the repo rate by 75 basis points, and initiated liquidity measures to deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 27, 2020 / 01:25 PM IST

Top economists in the country hailed the Reserve Bank of India's key policy announcements on March 27 in the fight against COVID-19.

While Sajid Chinoy, Chief India Economist of JP Morgan called it the 'unleashing of the Bazooka', former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor HR Khan termed the central bank measures as "big, bold and brave".

"It was much more than what market was expecting," Khan told CNBC-TV18.

To provide a liquidity boost to the economy reeling under the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) cut the repo rate by 75 basis points to 4.4 percent. It also reduced the cash reserve ratio by 100 basis points to 3 percent, allowed banks to provide a three-month moratorium on all term loans, among other things.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the MPC advanced its meet to March 24, 26 and 27 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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Axis Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Chaudhry told CNBC-TV18 that the RBI has gone beyond what the markets were expecting.

"RBI measures solve the problem at the macro level in a big way. Will have excess Rs 6,600 crore of excess cash due to CRR cut," Chaudhry said.

Rahul Bajoria, Chief India Economist at Barclays concurred with Chaudhry. “The RBI has surpassed expectations by delivering more than what the market anticipated, and its promise to 'do whatever it takes' has come good," Bajoria told CNBC-TV18.











Sujan Hajra, Chief Economist and Executive Director, Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers said this is 'RBI’s whatever it takes moment'.


He noted that while these measures would not necessarily promote growth but will avert a collapse, so are a big positive in boosting sentiments.


NITI Aayog Chairman Amitabh Kant complimented on putting a three-month moratorium on loans and waving off interest and bringing down the repo rate.


Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, also shared his views on the central bank's measures.


"It’s a brave package, something unusual that was required," Kumar said. 













Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 27, 2020 12:50 pm

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