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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has hiked the limit of individual housing loans extended by co-operative banks by over 100%, announced governor Shaktikanta Das.

Considering the importance of cooperative banks in promoting inclusive growth, Das has announced three measures for the cooperative banking sector.

To facilitate better flow of credit to the housing sector, the limits for individual housing loans extended by cooperative Banks were revised upwards by over 100% taking into account increase in house prices, Das said.

In line with the dispensation available to scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) and UCBs, the RBI has also proposed to permit rural cooperative banks to extend finance to ‘commercial real estate – residential housing’ (i.e. loans for residential housing projects), within the existing aggregate housing finance limit of 5% of their total assets.

This measure will further augment credit flows from the cooperative banks to the housing sector, the RBI governor said.

It has also been decided to permit UCBs to extend doorstep banking services to their customers. "This will enable UCBs to meet the needs of their customers, especially senior citizens and differently abled."

The Central bank's rate setting panel voted to raise the key interest rate for a second straight month to rein in prices that have been running above its target band since the beginning of this year.

“Inflation has steeply increased much beyond the upper tolerance level," said Shaktikanta Das in an online briefing. “A large part of the rise in inflation is primarily attributed to a series of supply shocks which can be linked to the war," he said.

The central bank also raised its inflation forecast for the year ending March to 6.7% from 5.7% seen previously. The RBI targets inflation between 2%-6%. With inflation set to hover above the tolerance level for three quarters, the central bank withdrew its intention of “staying accommodative."

Under Indian laws, if inflation stays above 6% for three straight quarters, the central bank will have to write a letter to the government laying out the reasons for failing to meet its mandate as well as suggest remedial measures to bring prices under control.

Indian bonds gained, with the yield on benchmark 10-year bond falling by two basis points to 7.49%, while the rupee was little changed. Stocks edged lower.

 

 

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