May 6, 2021 2:59:55 am
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday said the central bank is “committed to go unconventional and devise new responses as and when the situation demands” to tackle the mayhem created by the Covid pandemic.
Unveiling a package to maintain financial stability, Das said the devastating speed with which the virus affects different regions of the country has to be matched by swift-footed and wide-ranging actions that are calibrated, sequenced and well-timed so as to reach out to various sections of society and business, right down to smallest and the most vulnerable.
“At the RBI, we stand in battle readiness to ensure that financial conditions remain congenial and markets continue to work efficiently. We will work in close co-ordination with the Government to ameliorate the extreme travails that our citizens are undergoing in this hour of distress,” Das said.
“We are committed to go unconventional and devise new responses as and when the situation demands. We must also stay focused on our future, which appears bright even at this juncture, with India set to emerge as one of the fastest growing economies in the world,” Das said.
He said small businesses and financial entities at the grassroot level are bearing the biggest brunt of the second wave of infections. “As in the recent past, the RBI will continue to monitor the emerging situation and deploy all resources and instruments at its command in the service of the nation, especially for our citizens, business entities and institutions beleaguered by the second wave,” he said.
According to Das, the inflation trajectory over the rest of the year will be shaped by the Covid-19 infections and the impact of localised containment measures on supply chains and logistics. CPI inflation edged up to 5.5 per cent in March 2021 from 5.0 per cent a month ago on the back of a pick-up in food as well as fuel inflation while core inflation remained elevated. “High-frequency food prices data for April 2021 from the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) suggests further softening of prices of cereals and key vegetables while price pressures in pulses and edible oils remain,” he said.
He said the global economy is exhibiting incipient signs of recovery as countries renew their tryst with growth, supported by monetary and fiscal stimulus. “Still, activity remains uneven across countries and sectors,” he said.
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