RBI Governor addresses media: In his third such address since the coronavirus-induced lockdown began on March 25, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das held a press conference. After the lockdown began, Das had slashed the benchmark interest rate (repo rate) by a massive 75 basis points and also announced a three-month moratorium to be given by banks to provide relief to borrowers whose income has been hit due to the lockdown.

Notably, this has been the third presser by Das in the context of coronavirus related measures in the last two months. The first one was held on March 27 and the second one was on April 17.

Here are the highlights: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das press conference live updates:

Repo rates cut by 40 basis points to 4 percent

The repo rate cut by 40 basis points from 4.4 % to 4%. Reverse repo rate stands reduced to 3.35%: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das

Coronavirus impact

  • Top 6 states contributing to manufacturing in red
  • Power and fuel consumption has plunged
  • Double whammy- losses in production and crashing demand

Industrial production, manufacturing activity shrank

“Industrial production shrank by close to 17% in March with manufacturing activity down by 21%. Output of core industries contracted by 6.5%,” says Das

The agricultural sector has offered a ray of hope, Shaktikanta Das says

Foodgrain production up 3.7 percent

Amidst this encircling gloom agriculture and allied activities have, however, provided a beacon of hope on the back of an increase of 3.7% in food grain production to a new record: RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das

Private consumption slumped during COVID-19

The biggest blow came from private consumption slump with consumer durables production falling 33 percent in March 2020: Das

The volume of world trade can shrink by 13-32% this year: RBI Governor

India’s foreign exchange reserves increased

India’s foreign exchange reserves have increased by 9.2 billion during 2020-21 from 1st April onwards. So far, up to 15th May, foreign exchange reserves stand at 487 billion US dollars, says Das.

GDP growth is estimated to be in negative territory in FY 2020-2021: RBI Governor Das

Highly uncertain inflation outlook

Supply chock in April will persist for the next coming months, says Das

Monetary policy transmission has improved

An improvement in passing on a lower rate to borrowers has been noticed across various business segments: RBI Governor

RBI makes policy announcements

  • Improve the functioning of markets and market participants
  • Support exports and imports
  • Relief on debt servicing
  • Steps to ease the financial constraints of state governments

RBI Extends Moratorium Period by 3 Months | RBI extends the three-month moratorium, from June 1 to August 31, announces Governor Shaktikanta Das in view of the economic strains caused due to Covid-19 crisis. 

A facility of Rs 15,000 crore line of credit for 90 days for US dollar swap facility will be provided to EXIM Bank, says RBI governor Shaktikanta Das. Maximum permissible period of pre and post-shipment of credits increased from 1 year to 15 months, he adds. 

Additional 90-days Extension of Term Loan Facilities | In order to provide greater flexibility of SIDBI, another 90 days extension for the 90-day term loan facilities will be offered, announces RBI governor Shaktikanta Das. This will provide additional liquidity support to the MSME sector, he adds.