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Monetary policy is the process by which the central bank or monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money, often targeting a rate of interest. Monetary policy is usually used to attain a set of objectives oriented towards the growth and stability of the economy. These goals usually include stable prices and low unemployment. Monetary theory provides insight into how to craft optimal monetary policy. Monetary policy is referred to as either being an expansionary policy, or a contractionary policy, where an expansionary policy increases the total supply of money in the economy rapidly, and a contractionary policy decreases the total money supply or increases it only slowly. Expansionary policy is traditionally used to combat unemployment in a recession by lowering interest rates, while contractionary policy involves raising interest rates to combat inflation. Monetary policy is contrasted with fiscal policy, which refers to government borrowing, spending and taxation. An attempt to achieve broad economic goals by the regulation of the supply of money.


Monetary policy is the management of money supply and interest rates by central banks to influence prices and employment. Monetary policy works through expansion or contraction of investment and consumption expenditure. Monetary policy is the process by which the government, central bank (RBI in India), or monetary authority of a country controls (i) (ii) the supply of money availability of money


Cost of money or rate of interest , in order to attain a set of objectives oriented towards the growth and stability of the economy. Monetary theory provides insight into how to craft optimal monetary policy.

Monetary policy is referred to as either being an expansionary policy, or a contractionary policy, where an expansionary policy increases the total supply of money in the economy, and a contractionary policy decreases the total money supply. Expansionary policy is traditionally used to combat unemployment in a recession by lowering interest rates, while contractionary policy involves raising interest rates in order to combat inflation. Monetary policy is contrasted with fiscal policy, which refers to government borrowing, spending and taxation

What monetary policy at its best can deliver is low and stable inflation, and thereby reduces the volatility of the business cycle. When inflationary pressures build up, it is monetary policy only which raises the short-term interest rate (the policy rate), which raises real rates across the economy and squeezes consumption and investment. The pain is not concentrated at a few points, as is the case with government interventions in commodity markets.

Monetary policy in India underwent significant changes in the 1990s as the Indian Economy became increasing open and financial sector reforms were put in place. In the 1980s, monetary policy was geared towards controlling the quantum, cost and directions of credit flow in the economy. The quantity variables dominated as the transmission Channel of monetary policy. Reforms during the 1990s enhanced the sensitivity of price signals from the central bank, making interest rates the increasingly Dominant transmission channel of monetary policy in India.


The Reserve Bank of India is responsible for formulating and implementing Monetary Policy. For explanation of monetary policy, the whole period has been divided into 4 sub periods a) Monetary policy of controlled expansion (1951 to 1972) b) Monetary Policy during Pre Reform period (1972 to 1991) c) Monetary Policy in the Post-Reforms (1991 to 1996) d) Easing of Monetary policy since Nov 1996

Monetary policy of controlled expansion (1951 to 1972)

To regulate the expansion of money supply and bank credit to promote growth. To restrict the excessive supply of credit to the private sector so as to control inflationary pressures. Following steps were taken: 1) Changes in Bank Rates ,SLR 2) Margins were increased. As a result of the above changes, the supply of money increased from 3.4% (1951) to 9.1 (1965)

Monetary Policy during Pre Reform period (1972 to 1991):

Also known as the Tight Monetary policy: Price situation worsened during 1972 to 1974. Following Monetary Policy was adopted in 70s and 80s which were mainly concerned with the task neutralizing the impact of fiscal deficit and inflationary pressure.

1) Changes in CRR & SLR.

Easing of Monetary policy since Nov 1996:

In 1996-97, the rate of inflation sharply declined. In the later half 1996-97, industrial recession gripped the Indian economy. To encourage the economic Growth & to tackle the recessionary trend, the RBI eased its monetary policy. 1. Introduction of Repo rate. This instrument was consistently used in the monitory policy as a result of rapid industrial growth during 2005-06. 2. Reverse Repo rate Through RRR, RBI mops up liquidity from the banking system. 3. Flow of credit to Agriculture had increased. 4. Reduction in Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR). 5. Lowering Bank rate.


The first important step was introduction of an auction system for the central governments market borrowings in June 1992. This enabled an increasing proportion of the fiscal deficit to be financed by borrowings at market related rates of interest this in turn enabled the reserve bank to scale down the SLR.


Following an agreement between the government and the reserve bank in September 1994, the automatic monetization of the centres fiscal deficit was eliminated by gradually phasing out ad hocs by April 1997. A system of ways and means advances (WMA) to the central government subject to mutually agreed limits at market related rates, was put in place instead to meet mismatches in cash flows. Since the reserve bank reserves the right to trigger floatation of fresh government loans as and when the actual utilization crosses 75% of the

limit, the WMA doesnt acquire the cumulative character of ad hocs. This enables the reserve bank to accommodate the government at its direction and helps impose a market a discipline on fiscal activism.


Another major step towards a market based monetary policy was the reactivation of the bank rate. In April 1997, the interest rate on the majority of the accommodation extended by the reserve bank was initially linked to the bank rate. As the price of primary money is now increasingly market determined, essentially at rates emerging out of the LAF auctions, the bank rate is now used, more or less, as a signaling instrument of monetary policy in line with the evolving macroeconomic and liquidity conditions.


Deregulation of interest rates was central to the new market-oriented monetary strategy in terms of rejuvenating the price discovery process. The process of interest rate liberalization began in September 1991 with the discontinuation of sector specific and programmed specific prescriptions excepting for a few areas like agriculture, and small industries. Loans above Rs.2 Lakh were freed from various prescriptions, subject to the minimum lending rate prescribed by the reserve bank. The process of deregulation was carried forward with the withdrawal of the minimum lending rates in October 1994, thereby providing banks full freedom to determine lending rates for loans above 2 lakhs.

The reforms in credit regulation which began in the mid-1980, intensified in the 1990s with a shift in focus from micro regulation towards macro management of credit. These included a scaling down of pre-emptions in the form of statutory stipulations to expand the pool of lendable resources, rationalization of priority sector requirements, phasing out direct credit programmes and relaxation of balance sheet restrictions to improve the credit delivery system


The objectives are to maintain price stability and ensure adequate flow of credit to the productive sectors of the economy. Stability for the national currency (after looking at prevailing economic conditions), growth in employment and income are also looked into. The monetary policy affects the real sector through long and variable periods while the financial markets are also impacted through short-term implications. There are four main 'channels' which the RBI looks at:

Quantum channel: money supply and credit (affects real output and price level through changes in reserves money, money supply and credit aggregates).

Interest rate channel. Exchange rate channel (linked to the currency). Asset price.

Monetary decisions today take into account a wider range of factors, such as:

short term interest rates; long term interest rates; velocity of money through the economy; exchange rate credit quality bonds and equities (corporate ownership and debt) government versus private sector spending/savings international capital flow of money on large scales financial derivatives such as options,swaps and future contracts etc.


Preparation of Reserve Bank's Annual Policy Statement and its Reviews in each quarter.

Conduct of Technical Advisory Committee meetings on Monetary Policy in each quarter before the announcement of Policy Statement/Reviews or at any other time as and when needed.

Conduct of pre-policy consultation meetings with the bankers, market participants, trade bodies, self-regulatory organisations and economists and journalists to facilitate the policy formulation process.

Periodical meetings with banks on resource management. Conduct of Governors meetings with banks to announce Policy. Policy regarding monetary policy framework and instruments - Design and Operations.

Monetary projections and preparation of monetary budget. Monitoring and review of developments in macroeconomic conditions, prices and inflation, key monetary and banking aggregates, financial markets including interest rates.

Monitoring and review of maintenance of CRR and SLR by scheduled commercial banks.

Monitoring of relevant global developments, including monetary policy developments in select major economies.

Sanctioning and monitoring of refinance limits/utilisation in respect of scheduled commercial banks.

Issue of Master Circular on Export Credit Refinance Facility every year in July.

Preparation of a Memorandum for the Central Board of Directors twice a year reviewing the monetary and credit developments and policy measures taken during the period.


In practice, all types of monetary policy involve modifying the amount of base currency (M0) in circulation. This process of changing the liquidity of base currency through the open sales and purchases of (government-issued) debt and credit instruments is called open market operations. Constant market transactions by the monetary authority modify the supply of currency and this impacts other market variables such as short term interest rates and the exchange rate.The distinction between the various types of monetary policy lies primarily with the set of instruments and target variables that are used by the monetary authority to achieve their goals The different types of policy are also called monetary regimes, in parallel to exchange rate regimes. A fixed exchange rate is also an exchange rate regime; The Gold standard results in a relatively fixed regime towards the currency of other countries on the gold standard and a floating regime towards those that are not. Targeting inflation, the price level or other monetary aggregates implies floating exchange rate unless the management of the relevant foreign currencies is tracking the exact same variables (such as a harmonized consumer price index). Monetary policy is referred to as either being an expansionary policy, or a contractionary policy, where an expansionary policy increases the total supply of money in the economy, and a contractionary policy decreases the total money supply.Let us understand the detail difference between the two:

Expansionary monetary policy

It increases the total supply of money in the economy Used to overcome a depression gap. Is mainly introduced when demand falls

It decreases the cost & increases availability of credit in the money market thereby improving economy. It is traditionally used to combat unemployment in a recession by lowering interest rates

Contractionary monetary policy

It decreases the total money supply in the economy A policy designed to curtail aggregate demand. When demand of goods &services rises the RBI starts restrictive monetary policy thereby reducing consumption It increases the cost & decreases availability of credit in the money market thereby controlling inflationary pressures. Contractionary policy has the goal of raising interest rates to combat inflation (or cool an otherwise overheated economy).


Monetary policy is not the only force acting on output, employment, and prices. Many other factors affect aggregate demand and aggregate supply and, consequently, the economic position of households and businesses. Some of these factors can be anticipated and built into spending and other economic decisions, and some come as a surprise. On the demand side, the government influences the economy through changes in taxes and spending programs, which typically receive a lot of public attention and are therefore anticipated. For example, the effect of a tax cut may precede its actual implementation as businesses and households alter their spending in anticipation of the lower taxes. Also, forward-looking financial markets may build such fiscal events into the level and structure of interest rates, so that a simulative measure, such as a tax cut, would tend to raise the level of interest rates even before the tax cut becomes effective, which will have a restraining effect on demand and the economy before the fiscal stimulus is actually applied.

Other changes in aggregate demand and supply can be totally unpredictable and influence the economy in unforeseen ways. Examples of such shocks on the demand side are shifts in consumer and business confidence, and changes in the lending posture of commercial banks and other creditors. Lessened confidence regarding the outlook for the economy and labor market or more restrictive lending conditions tend to curb business and household spending. On the supply side, natural disasters, disruptions in the oil market that reduce supply, agricultural losses, and slowdowns in productivity growth are examples of adverse supply shocks. Such shocks tend to raise prices and reduce output. Monetary policy can attempt to counter the loss of output or the higher prices but cannot fully offset both. In practice, as previously noted, monetary policy makers do not have up-tothe-minute information on the state of the economy and prices. Useful information is limited not only by lags in the construction and availability of key data but also by later revisions, which can alter the picture considerably.

Therefore, although monetary policy makers will eventually be able to offset the effects that adverse demand shocks have on the economy, it will be some time before the shock is fully recognized andgiven the lag between a policy action and the effect of the action on aggregate demandan even longer time before it is countered. Add to this the uncertainty about how the economy will respond to an easing or tightening of policy of a given magnitude, and it is not hard to see how the economy and prices can depart from a desired path for a period of time.

The statutory goals of maximum employment and stable prices are easier to achieve if the public understands those goals and believes that the Federal Reserve will take effective measures to achieve them. For example, if the Federal Reserve responds to a negative demand shock to the economy with an aggressive and transparent easing of policy, businesses and consumers may believe that these actions will restore the economy to full employment; consequently, they may be less inclined to pull back on spending because of concern that demand may not be strong enough to

warrant new business investment or that their job prospects may not warrant the purchase of big-ticket household goods.

Similarly, a credible anti-inflation policy will lead businesses and households to expect less wage and price inflation; workers then will not feel the same need to protect themselves by demanding large wage increases, and businesses will be less aggressive in raising their prices, for fear of losing sales and profits. As a result, inflation will come down more rapidly, in keeping with the policy-related slowing in growth of aggregate demand, and will give rise to less slack in product and resource markets than if workers and businesses continued to act as if inflation were not going to slow.

Guides To Monetary Policy

Although the goals of monetary policy are clearly spelled out in law, the means to achieve those goals are not. Changes in the FOMCs target federal funds rate take some time to affect the economy and prices, and it is often far from obvious whether a selected level of the federal funds rate will achieve those goals. For this reason, some have suggested that the Federal Reserve pay close attention to guides that are intermediate between its operational targetthe federal funds rateand the economy.

Concept of Money
Money defined as a generally acceptable means of payment or of settling debt, fulfils three main functions; as a medium of exchange between buyers and sellers; as a unit of account (for accounts, debts, financial assets, etc.) involving no exchange; and as a store of value or of purchasing power, enabling income-earners to set aside a part of their income to yield future consumption.

These components of money supply, when expressed in the Indian context, are constituted of the following. Currency consists of notes and coins. From it one should exclude the cash on hand with the banks. As a result, one is left with currency with the public.

Four Measures:
The Reserve Bank of India uses four measures of money supply. These are designated as M1, M2, M3, M4. M1: It consists of currency(currency notes and coins) with the public, demand deposits with banks and other deposits with the Reserve Bank of India. M1= Currency (currency notes and coins) with the public+ demand deposits with banks (commercial and cooperatives)+ other deposits with RBI M2: It constitutes of M1 plus post office savings and banks deposits. M2= M1+ Post office savings bank deposits M3: It is made up of M1 and time deposits with banks. M3= M1+ time deposits with banks (commercial and cooperatives) M4: It is M3 plus total deposits with the post office savings organization. M4= M3+ total deposits with the post office saving organisation

Monetary policy tools

Monetary base
Monetary policy can be implemented by changing the size of the monetary base. This directly changes the total amount of money circulating in the economy. A central bank can use open market operations to change the monetary base. The central bank would buy/sell bonds in exchange for hard currency. When the central bank disburses/collects this hard currency payment, it alters the amount of currency in the economy, thus altering the monetary base.

Reserve requirements
The monetary authority exerts regulatory control over banks. Monetary policy can be implemented by changing the proportion of total assets that banks must hold in reserve with the central bank. Banks only maintain a small portion of their assets as cash available for immediate withdrawal; the rest is invested in illiquid assets like mortgages and loans. By changing the proportion of total assets to be held as liquid cash, the Federal Reserve changes the availability of loanable funds. This acts as a change in the money supply. Central banks typically do not change the reserve requirements often because it creates very volatile changes in the money supply due to the lending multiplier.

Discount window lending

Many central banks or finance ministries have the authority to lend funds to financial institutions within their country. By calling in existing loans or extending new loans, the monetary authority can directly change the size of the money supply.

Interest rates
The contraction of the monetary supply can be achieved indirectly by increasing the nominal interest rates. Monetary authorities in different nations have differing levels of control of economy-wide interest rates. The Federal Reserve can set the discount rate, as well as achieve the desired Federal funds rate by open market operations. This rate has significant effect on other market interest rates, but there is no perfect relationship. In the United States open market operations are a relatively small part of the total volume in the bond market. One cannot set independent targets for both the monetary base and the interest rate because they are both modified by a single tool open market operations; one must choose which one to control. In other nations, the monetary authority may be able to mandate specific interest rates on loans, savings accounts or other financial assets. By raising the interest rate(s) under its control, a monetary authority can contract the money supply, because higher

interest rates encourage savings and discourage borrowing. Both of these effects reduce the size of the money supply.

Currency board
A currency board is a monetary arrangement which pegs the monetary base of a country to that of an anchor nation. As such, it essentially operates as a hard fixed exchange rate, whereby local currency in circulation is backed by foreign currency from the anchor nation at a fixed rate. Thus, to grow the local monetary base an equivalent amount of foreign currency must be held in reserves with the currency board. This limits the possibility for the local monetary authority to inflate or pursue other objectives. The principal rationales behind a currency board are three-fold: 1. To import monetary credibility of the anchor nation; 2. To maintain a fixed exchange rate with the anchor nation; 3. To establish credibility with the exchange rate (the currency board arrangement is the hardest form of fixed exchange rates outside of dollarization). In theory, it is possible that a country may peg the local currency to more than one foreign currency; although, in practice this has never happened (and it would be a more complicated to run than a simple single-currency currency board).


Monetary policy in India underwent significant changes in the 1990s as the Indian Economy became increasing open and financial sector reforms were put in place. in the 1980s,monetary policy was geared towards controlling the qunatam,cost and directions. Of credit flow in the economy. the quantity variables dominated as the transmission Channel of monetary policy. Reforms during the 1990s enhanced the sensitivity of price Signals of price signals from the central bank, making interest rates the increasingly Dominant transmission channel of monetary policy in India. The openness of the economy, as measured by the ratio of merchandise trade(exports Plus imports) to GDP, rose from about 18% in 1993-94 to about 26% by 2003-04. Including services trade plus invisibles, external transactions as a proportion of GDP Rose from 25% to 40% during the same period. Along with the increase in trade as a Percentage of GDP, capital inflows have increased even more sharply ,foreign currency.

Assets of the reserve bank of India(RBI) rose from USD 15.1 billion in the march 1994 To over USD 140 billion by march 15,2005.these changes have affected liquidity and Monetary management. Monetary policy has responded continuously to changes in Domestics and international macroecomic conditions. In this process, the current monetary operating framework has relied more on outright open market operations and Daily repo and reserve repo operations than on the use of direct instruments. Overnight Rate are now gradually emerging as the principal operating target. The Monetary and Credit Policy is the policy statement, traditionally announced twice a year, through which the Reserve Bank of India seeks to ensure

price stability for the economy. These factors include - money supply, interest rates and the inflation.

Objectives:The objectives are to maintain price stability and ensure adequate flow of credit to the Productive sectors of the economy. Stability for the national currency (after looking at prevailing economic conditions), growth in employment and income are also looked into. The monetary policy affects the real sector through long and variable periods while the financial markets are also impacted through short-term implications. There are four main 'channels' which the RBI looks at: Quantum Channel: Money supply and credit (affects real output and price level through changes in reserves money, money supply and credit aggregates).

Bank Rate: Bank rate is the minimum rate at which the central bank provides loans to the commercial banks. It is also called the discount rate. Usually, an increase in bank rate results in commercial banks increasing their lending rates. Changes in bank rate affect credit creation by banks through altering the cost of credit.

Cash Reserve Ratio: All commercial banks are required to keep a certain amount of its deposits in cash with RBI. This percentage is called the cash reserve ratio. The current CRR requirement is 8 per cent. CRR, or cash reserve ratio, refers to a portion of deposits (as cash) which bank have to keep/maintain with the RBI. This serves two purposes. It ensures that a portion of

bank deposits is totally risk-free and secondly it enables that RBI controlling equidity in the system, and thereby, inflation. Besides the CRR, banks are required to invest a portion of their deposits in government securities as a part of their statutory liquidity ratio(SLR) requirements. The government securities (also known as gilt-edged securities or gilts) are bonds issued by the Central government to meet its revenue requirements. Although the bonds are long-term in nature, they are liquid as they can be traded in the secondary market. Since 1991, as the economy has recovered and sector reforms increased, the CRR has fallen from 15 per cent in March 1991 to 5.5 per cent in December 2001. The SLR has fallen from 38.5 per cent to 25 per cent over the past decade.

Bank rate: CRR; Repo rate: Reverse Repo rate;

6 % 8 % 7.75% 6 %

Monetary policy in different years

The monetarist statistical regularities have weakened for the 1970-90 period, in comparison with the 1960-79 period where the influences of current and past business activity on the money supply were weak, while the predictive value of changes in the money stock for future output was large

National income and saving play vital role on formulation of monetary policy. As the income increases the spending will also increase, thus monetary will be less intensively required and same is the case with increase in saving .chart shows how the finance systems generate the real money and nominal money .The existence of longrun equilibrium relationship among money and income represented by a money demand function also has significant implications for monetary policy.

The New Functions of Monetary Policies that have emerged

To reinforce the emphasis on price stability and well-anchored inflation expectations while ensuring a monetary and interest rate environment that supports export and investment demand in the economy so as to enable continuation of the growth momentum. To re-emphasize credit quality and orderly conditions in financial


for securing macroeconomic and, in particular, financial stability while simultaneously pursuing greater credit penetration and financial inclusion. To respond swiftly with all possible measures as appropriate to the evolving global and domestic situation impinging on inflation expectations and the growth momentum.

How is monetary policy affected by Fiscal Policy

Fiscal policies have a significant impact on economic growth and inflation. It is therefore important for monetary authorities to follow fiscal policy developments closely. There are many channels through which fiscal

policy affects the economy and prices. The level and composition of government expenditure and revenue, as well as budget deficits and public debt, are key variables in this process. Budgetary policies remain the exclusive competence of the Member States in Stage . In particular, the Treatys excessive deficit procedure, further developed and clarified in the Stability and Growth Pact, aims to limit the risks to price stability that might otherwise arise from national fiscal policies. For example, an excessive increase in government spending at a time when the economy is already operating at close to full capacity could, by stimulating aggregate demand, lead to bottlenecks and generate inflationary pressures. Fiscal imbalances, with large budget deficits and mounting public debt, have characterized many inflationary episodes in history. Fiscal discipline is therefore a basic component of macroeconomic stability. As well as unbalanced budgets, high levels of government debt can also be detrimental. If a government has to meet sizeable interest expenses every year, the fiscal situation can become unsustainable and this may endanger price stability .High levels of debt may also have adverse effects on the real economy and the financial environment. In particular, excessive recourse to capital markets by governments tends to raise the cost of capital and this may reduce private investment (crowding out). Given the potential problems associated with fiscal imbalances, the avoidance of excessive deficits represents an important commitment to maintaining fiscal policies conducive to overall macroeconomic stability.

Fiscal policies affects the monetary policies in elements of transmission in short term. In long term it affects the sustainability of monetary policies. In monetary transmission include the following transmission channels

Domestic demand:
In every household the spending for total year has been decided and if in this situation if the fiscal policies has been changed by the government then the there will be change in household spending and change in domestic demand. So the change in

fiscal policies affect the monetary transmission channel in short run. Thus the spending effects the interest rates .

Capital market :

If from the capital market money is taken by the government in big way ,then it leads to increase in return on investment on new projects .Thus, the private firm will become disinterested to fund the new projects . Indirect taxes: If government increases the taxes on indivaiual then it will lead to increase in the interest rates and inflation will also rise.The rise in inflation will lead to decrease in the demand .The government has to come to rescue the people by consolidation of economy.The consolidation will be done by the higher wages and lower nominal interest rates .Thus inflation rise causes extra pressure on wages.

Challenges before Monetary Policy :

Financial markets are unperturbed: with the flattening of yield curves, the compression of risk spreads and the search foryields continues unabated. Global imbalances have actually increased with no fears of hard landing, but with some sense of readying for a bumpy soft landing. Movements in major exchange rates are not reflecting fundamentals in an environment of generalised elevation in asset prices and abundant liquidity. Strong global economic growth could be accompanied by emerging pressures on core inflation the challenge facing us is to judge the compatibility of the current pace of growth with non-accelerating inflation. In the event of a

judgment that the current growth momentum is more cyclical than structural, the stance of monetary policy would need to reflect a sensitivity to the inevitability of a downturn. On the other hand, the judgment that structural factors predominate would warrant a different policy stance. An overriding concern faced by the Reserve Bank is the persistently high growth of bank credit, with attendant worries relating to the quality of bank credit The sharp increase in credit to sectors such as housing, commercial real estate and retail loans have also been worrisome on account of the vulnerability of banks to credit concentration risks. It is difficult to arrive at a clear judgment as to what rate of credit growth is too high in relation to potential growth. Some of the models integrate policy behavior with the banking system, the demand for a broad monetary aggregate, and a rich array of goods and financial market variables, providing a more complete understanding of the monetary transmission mechanism. Weak economic assumptions and large models combine to reveal difficulties with sorting out policy effects that other approaches fail to bring out

Changes in monetary policies that have come due to global crisis (depression):

The policy responses in India since September 2008 have been designed largely to mitigate the adverse impact of the global financial crisis on the Indian economy.

The conduct of monetary policy had to contend with the high speed and magnitude of the external shock and its spill-over effects through the real, financial and confidence channels. The evolving stance of policy has been increasingly conditioned by the need to preserve financial stability while arresting the moderation in the growth momentum.

The Reserve Bank has multiple instruments at its command such as repo and reverse repo rates; cash reserve ratio (CRR), statutory liquidity ratio (SLR), open market operations, including the market stabilisation scheme (MSS) and the LAF, special market operations, and sector specific liquidity facilities. In addition, the Reserve Bank also uses prudential tools to modulate flow of credit to certain sectors consistent with financial stability. The availability of multiple instruments and flexible use of these instruments in the implementation of monetary policy has enabled the Reserve Bank to modulate the liquidity and interest rate conditions amidst uncertain global macroeconomic conditions. The thrust of the various policy initiatives by the Reserve Bank has been on providing ample rupee liquidity, ensuring comfortable dollar liquidity and maintaining a market environment conducive for the continued flow of credit to productive sectors. The key policy initiatives taken by the Reserve Bank since September 2008 are set out below: Policy Rates The policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) was reduced by 400 basis points from 9.0 per cent to 4.75 per cent. The policy reverse repo rate under the LAF was reduced by 250 basis points from 6.0 per cent to 3.25 per cent.

Rupee Liquidity The cash reserve ratio (CRR) was reduced by 400 basis points from 9.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) of banks to 5.0 per cent. The statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) was reduced from 25.0 per cent of NDTL to 24.0 per cent.

The export credit refinance limit for commercial banks was enhanced to 50.0 per cent from 15.0 per cent of outstanding export credit. A special 14-day term repo facility was instituted for commercial banks up to 1.5 per cent of NDTL. A special refinance facility was instituted for scheduled commercial banks (excluding RRBs) up to 1.0 per cent of each banks NDTL as on October 24, 2008. Special refinance facilities were instituted for financial institutions (SIDBI, NHB and Exim Bank).

Forex Liquidity The Reserve Bank sold foreign exchange (US dollars) and made available a forex swap facility to banks. The interest rate ceilings on nonresident Indian (NRI) deposits were raised. The all-in-cost ceiling for the external commercial borrowings (ECBs) was raised. The all-in-cost ceiling for ECBs through the approval route has been dispensed with up to June 30, 2009. The systemically important non-deposit taking non-banking financial companies (NBFCs-ND-SI) were permitted to raise short-term foreign currency borrowings.

Regulatory Forbearance The risk-weights and provisioning requirements were relaxed and restructuring of stressed assets was initiated.

Instruments of monetary policy in India

The monetary policy is nothing but controlling the supply of Money. The big Daddy, i.e. the RBI takes a look at the present levels and also takes a call on what should be the desired level to promote growth, bring stability of price(low inflation) and foreign exchange.

The various instruments of monetary policy that the RBI has and can use are:

A. Quantitative measures: 1. Open Market operations: Here, the RBI enters into sale and purchase of government securities and treasury bills. So the RBI can pump money into circulation by buying back the securities and vice versa. In absence of an independent security market (all Banks are state owned), this is not really effective in India. 2. Bank rate policy: Popularly known as repo rate and reverse repo rate, it is the rate at which the RBI and the Banks buy or exchange money. This resuts into the flow of bank credit and thus effects the money supply. 3. Cash Reserve ratio (CRR): This is the percentage of total deposits that the banks have to keep with RBI. And this instrument can change the money supply overnight. 4. Statutory Liquidity Requirement (SLR): This is the proportion of deposits which Banks have to keep liquid in addition to CRR. This also has a bearing on money supply. B. Qualitative measures: 1. Credit rationing: Imposing limits and charging higher/lower rates of interests in selective sectors is what you see is being done by RBI. 2. Moral suasion: We hear of RBI's directive of priority lending in Agriculture sector. Seems more of a directive rather than persuasion.

How effective is monetary policy in India (A critical analysis)

The specter of inflation has led the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to repeatedly raise interest rates and increase banks reserve requirements in classic monetary policy responses. The RBI also faces the challenge of simultaneously managing the exchange rate in the face of porous controls on international capital flows.

While the exchange rate has depreciated recently as capital inflows have cooled, the hot button issue just a few months ago was whether the exchange rate should be kept from appreciating. Some economists argued for preventing exchange rate appreciation, and managing the inflationary impact of capital inflows by selling government bonds, thus soaking up excess liquidity. Others favored an exportcompetitive exchange rate policy, but also argued that monetary policy was irrelevant as current inflationary symptoms were arising from temporary supply-side shocks. The radical position (at least by Indian policy standards) has been that the RBI should focus on fighting inflation, but give itself more room to do so by allowing the exchange rate to adjust to market conditions. One version of this stance is that raising the interest rate is less effective as an inflation-fighting policy than allowing the rupee to appreciate, as financial repression and underdeveloped financial markets keep interest rate changes from rippling through the economy strongly enough. There are several empirical analyses of the monetary transmission mechanism in India. These suggest that the interest rate channel of monetary policy has strengthened since 1998, which should not come as a surprise since there has been considerable financial liberalization, accompanied by a revision of the RBIs policy approach. This result comes out in an interesting fashion in a 2005 IMF study.The responses of firms to monetary tightening vary by size and, while greater in the period 1998-2003 versus

the prior half-decade, seem to involve a reversal of initial cutbacks in corporate debt. Still, interest rates do affect firm borrowing behavior.

A better feel for the aggregate impacts of monetary policy comes from an economy wide analysis. This suggests the interest rate is an effective inflation-fighting tool in India even though, as the authors say, the financial market in India is not yet matured.

The results even indicate that output recovers with a lag in the face of such interest rate increases. All this sounds quite good from the perspective of what policymakers are currently doing, though there is no modeling of inflation expectations in India. Indian monetary policy is still very accommodative and interest rates need to rise more to prevent global supply-side shocks from seeping into the broader economy. Wholesale price inflation, the most widely watched measure in India, touched 8.24 percent in mid-May, far above the central bank's comfort zone of 5.5 percent for 2008/09. The central bank held off outright rate increases for a year, opting instead to keep cash availability tight, as prices pressures largely came from supply constraints and record commodity prices rather than demand. The twin objectives of monetary policy in India have evolved as maintaining price stability and ensuring adequate flow of credit to facilitate the growth process.


Being one of the most influential government policies, monetary policy aims at affecting the economy through the Fed's management of money and interest rates. As generally accepted concepts, the narrowest definition of money is M1, which includes currency, checking account deposits, and traveler's checks. Time deposits,

savings deposits, money market deposits, and other financial assets can be added to M1 to define other monetary measures such as M2 and M3. Interest rates are simply the costs of borrowing. The Fed conducts monetary policy through reserves, which are the portion of the deposits that banks and other depository institutions are required to hold either as cash in their vaults, called vault cash, or as deposits with their home FRBs. Excess reserves are the reserves in excess of the amount required. These additional funds can be transacted in the reserves market (the federal funds market) to allow overnight borrowing between depository institutions to meet short-term needs in reserves. The rate at which such private borrowings are charged is the federal funds rate. Monetary policy is closely linked with the reserves market. With its policy tools, the Fed can control the reserves available in the market, affect the federal funds rate, and subsequently trigger a chain of reactions that influence other short-term interests rates, foreign-exchange rates, long-term interest rates, and the amount of money and credit in the economy. These changes will then bring about adjustments in consumption, affect saving and investment decisions, and eventually influence employment, output, and prices.

How Monetary Policy Affects The Economy

The initial link in the chain between monetary policy and the economy is the market for balances held at the Federal Reserve Banks. Depository institutions have accounts at their Reserve Banks, and they actively trade balances held in these accounts in the federal funds market at an interest rate known as the federal funds rate. The Federal Reserve exercises considerable control over the federal funds rate through its influence over the supply of and demand for balances at the Reserve Banks. The FOMC sets the federal funds rate at a level it believes will foster financial and monetary conditions consistent with achieving its monetary policy objectives, and it adjusts that target in line with evolving economic developments.

A change in the federal funds rate, or even a change in expectations about the future level of the federal funds rate, can set off a chain of events that will affect other short-term interest rates, longer-term interest rates, the foreign exchange value of the dollar, and stock prices. In turn, changes in these variables will affect households and businesses spending decisions, thereby affecting growth in aggregate demand and the economy.


Since the early 1980s, the Fed has been relying on the overnight federal funds rate as the guide to its position in monetary policy. The Fed has at its disposal three major monetary policy tools: Reserve Requirements Under the Monetary Control Act of 1980, all depository institutions, including commercial banks, savings and loans, and others, are subject to the same reserve requirements, regardless of their Fed member status. As of March 1999, the basic structure of reserve requirements is 3 percent for all checkable deposits up to $46.5 million and 10 percent for the amount above $46.5 million. No reserves are required for time deposits (data from Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 1999). Reserve requirement affects the so-called multiple money creation. Suppose, for example, the reserve requirement ratio is 10 percent. A bank that receives a $100 deposit (bank 1) can lend out $90. Bank 1 can then issue a $90 check to a borrower, who deposits it in bank 2, which can then lend out $81. As it continues, the process will eventually involve a total of $1,000 ($100 + $90 + $81 + $72.9 $1,000) in deposits. The initial deposit of $100 is thus multiplied 10 times. With a lower (higher) ratio, the multiple involved is larger (smaller), and more (less) reserves can be created.

Reserve requirements are not used as often as the other policy tools. Since funds grow in multiples, it is difficult to administer small adjustments in reserves with this tool. Also, banks always have the option of entering the federal funds market for reserves, further limiting the role of reserve requirements.

The Discount Rate

Banks may acquire loans through the "discount window" at their home FRB. The most important credit available through the window is the adjustment credit, which helps depository institutions meet their short-term needs against, for example, unexpected large withdrawals of deposits. The interest rate charged on such loans is the basic discount rate and is the focus of discount policy. A lower-rate encourages more borrowing. Through money creation, bank deposits increase and reserves increase. A rate hike works in the opposite direction. However, since it is more efficient to adjust reserves through open-market operations (discussed below), the amount of discount window lending has been unimportant, accounting for only a small fraction of total reserves. Perhaps a more meaningful function served by the discount rate is to signal the Fed's stance on monetary policy, similar to the role of the federal funds rate. By law, each FRB sets its discount rate every two weeks, subject to the approval of the Board of Governors. However, the gradual nationalization of the credit market over the years has resulted in a uniform discount rate. Its adjustments have been dictated by the cyclical conditions in the economy, and the frequency of adjustments has varied. In the 1990s, for example, the Fed cut the rate seven times from 7 percent to 3 percent during the recession from December 1990 to July 1992. Later, from May 1994 to February 1995, the rate was raised four timesfrom 3 percent to5.25 percentto counter possible economic overheating and inflation. In January 1996, the rate was lowered to 5 percent and it stayed there for the next thirtytwo months, during which the U.S. economy experienced a solid and consistent growth with only minor inflation. From October to November 1998, the Fed cut the

rate twice, first to 4.75 percent and then to 4.5 percent, anticipating the threat from the global financial crisis that had began in Asia in mid-1997 (data from "United States Monetary Policy," 1999).

Open-Market Operations
The most important and flexible tool of monetary policy is open-market operations (i.e., trading U.S. government securities in the open market). In 1997, the Fed made $3.62 trillion of purchases and $3.58 trillion of sales of Treasury securities (mostly short-term Treasury bills). As of September 1998, the Fed held $458.13 billion of Treasury securities, roughly 8.25 percent of the total Federal debt outstanding The FOMC directs open-market operations (and also advises about reserve requirements and discount-rate policies). The day-to-day operations are determined and executed by the Domestic Trading Desk (the Desk) at the FRB of New York. Since 1980, the FOMC has met regularly eight times a year in Washington, D.C. At each of these meetings, it votes on an intermeeting target federal funds rate, based on the current and prospective conditions of the economy. Until the next meeting, the Desk will manage reserve conditions through open-market operations to maintain the federal funds rate around the given target level. When buying securities from a bank, the Fed makes the payment by increasing the bank's reserves at the Fed. More reserves will then be available in the federal funds market and the federal funds rate falls. By selling securities to a bank, the Fed receives payment in reserves from the bank. Supply of reserves falls and the funds rate rises. The Fed has two basic approaches in running open-market operations. When a shortage or surplus in reserves is likely to persist, the Fed may undertake outright purchases or sales, creating a long-term impact on the supply of reserves. However, many reserve movements are temporary. The Fed can then take a defensive position and engage in transactions that only impose temporary effects on the level of reserves.

A repurchase agreement (a repo) allows the Fed to purchase securities with the agreement that the seller will buy back them within a short time period, sometimes overnight and mostly within seven days. The repo creates a temporary increase in reserves, which vanishes when the term expires. If the Fed wishes to drain reserves temporarily from the banking system, it can adopt a matched sale-purchase transaction (a reverse repo), under which the buyer agrees to sell the securities back to the Fed, usually in less than seven days.

Policy Of Various Nations:

Australia - Inflation targeting Brazil - Inflation targeting Canada - Inflation targeting Chile - Inflation targeting China - Monetary targeting and targets a currency basket Eurozone - Inflation targeting Hong Kong - Currency board (fixed to US dollar) India - Multiple indicator approach New Zealand - Inflation targeting Norway - Inflation targeting Singapore - Exchange rate targeting South Africa - Inflation targeting Switzerland - Inflation targeting Turkey - Inflation targeting United Kingdom - Inflation targeting, alongside secondary targets on 'output and employment'.

United States - Mixed policy (and since the 1980s it is well described by the "Taylor rule," which maintains that the Fed funds rate responds to shocks in inflation and output).

Interaction between monetary and fiscal policies-topic that can be