RBI deputy sees no steep fall in rates

India’s high savings rate of 35 per cent is seen by the government as a key factor in restoring growth rates of 8-9 per cent even if the global economy does not pick up. The economy grew 6.7 pe rcent in the year to March 31, the slowest in six years, a pace below the 9 per cent or more expansion witnessed in the past few years.

High savings rate

But Kamalesh Chandra Chakrabarty, who will join the Reserve Bank of India on Monday, said, on Saturday, the current savings rate were not enough to sustain the high levels of growth. “To sustain growth it must be taken to at least 40 per cent. That can talk much of the (possibility of) reduction in interest rates and deposit rates,” Chakrabarty, currently chairman of state-run Punjab National Bank, told reporters here.

“Let us understand, we cannot afford to disincentivise the saver. So in the long term I don’t see, under the present structure, interest rates going down very drastically.”

Banks’ main lending rates have come down by between 150-225 basis points in the six months to June. The central bank had cut its key rate by 425 basis points since October to 4.75 percent.

Indian banks generally respond to signals from the finance ministry, but a slowing economy has made them wary of lending actively due to concerns about a rise in consumer delinquencies.

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