Mumbai: Ahead of the mid-quarter review of the monetary policy on 18 December, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Subir Gokarn on Saturday said inflation continues to be the primary concern for the central bank.
His comments come amid growth in the second quarter falling to 5.3% in July-September period, triggering demands for a rate cut by RBI to boost the economy.
RBI should not do anything that provide some short-term stimulus to growth that also raises the risk of longer-term inflation, he said at a Bombay Management Association event.
“One action is not necessarily going to make the difference. But there are risks associated as well,” Gokarn said, adding inflation continues to be the primary concern of the monetary policy.
According to many analysts, RBI will hold the rates on 18 December as inflation continues to be high, at 7.45% in October. At the last policy announcement, RBI had left the short-term lending rates unchanged at 8%.
Gokarn said RBI should not fall prey to trying out something opposite if one set of actions, in this case the anti-inflationary stance, is not working. “The belief that just because something does not seem to be working, the exact opposite is the solution (is incorrect),” he said.
On Thursday RBI governor D. Subbarao had hinted that rate cuts are on the anvil as growth has moderated steeply. “We are expecting that inflation will trend down starting Q4. As we go into our mid-quarter policy on 18 December and the quarterly policy on 29 January, we will take into account the growth-inflation trajectory and calibrate our monetary policy accordingly,” the governor had said. However, Subbarao also said at 7.5%, inflation was still high, though it has come down from its peak.