Thu, 23 Mar 2023

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 8 (ANI): The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday said it was restoring market hours for the government securities market to the pre-pandemic timing of 9 am to 5 pm.

While announcing the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee of RBI, the central bank's Governor Shaktikanta Das said, "As part of our gradual move towards normalising liquidity and market operations, it has now been decided to restore market hours for the government securities (G-secs) market to the pre-pandemic timing of 9 am to 5 pm."He said, "Moreover, as part of our ongoing endeavour to further develop the government securities market, we propose to permit lending and borrowing of G-secs."The governor said this would provide investors with an avenue to deploy their idle securities, enhance portfolio returns and facilitate wider participation.

"This measure will also add depth and liquidity to the G-sec market; aid efficient price discovery; and work towards a smooth completion of the market borrowing programme of the Centre and states," the governor said.

The RBI Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Shaktikanta Das, hiked the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 per cent on Wednesday.

According to the governor, a rate hike of 25 basis points is considered as appropriate at the current juncture. "The reduction in the size of the rate hike provides the opportunity to evaluate the effects of the actions taken so far on the inflation outlook and on the economy at large," he added.

Das-headed Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) started its three-day meeting on February 6 amid the rate hiking spree that started in May last year to check inflation.

The Monetary Policy Committee consists of three RBI officials and three external members, which are appointed by the central government. This week's monetary policy is seen as crucial as it will be the RBI's first policy stance for the calendar year 2023 and comes exactly one week after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on February 1.

The RBI members include Governor Das, Executive Director Rajiv Ranjan and Deputy Governor Michael Debabrata Patra.

The external members are National Council of Applied Economic Research Senior Advisor Shashanka Bhide; Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research Emeritus Professor Ashima Goyal; and Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad Professor Jayanth R Varma. (ANI)

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