There are two methods that the RBI uses to control the money supply in the economy-
I) General I Quantitative Credit Control Methods :-
In India, the legal framework of RBI’s control over the credit structure has been provided
Under Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and the Banking RegulationAct, 1949. Quantitative credit controls are used to maintain proper quantity of credit o money supply in market. Some of the important general credit control methods are:-
1. Bank Rate Policy :-
Bank rate is the rate at which the Central bank lends money to the commercial banks for their liquidity requirements. Bank rate is also called discount rate. In other words bank rate is the rate at which the central bank rediscounts eligible papers (like approved securities, bills of exchange, commercial papers etc) held by commercial banks.
Bank rate is important because its is the pace setter to other marketrates of
interest. Bank rates have been changed several times by RBI to control inflation
and recession. By 2003, the bank rate has been reduced to 6% p.a.
2. Open market operations :-
It refers to buying and selling of government securities in open market in order to expand or contract the amount of money in the banking system.This technique is superior to bank rate policy. Purchases inject money into the banking system while sale of securities do the opposite. During last two decades the RBI has been undertaking switch operations. These involve the purchase of one loan against the sale of another or, vice-versa. This policy aims at preventing unrestricted increase in liquidity.
3. Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR)
The Gash Reserve Ratio (CRR) is an effective instrument of credit control. Under the RBl Act of, l934 every commercial bank has to keep certain minimum cash reserves with RBI. The RBI is empowered to vary the CRR between 3% and 15%. A high CRR reduces the cash for lending and a low CRR increases the cash for lending. The CRR has been brought down from 15% in 1991 to 7.5% in May 2001. It further reduced to 5.5% in December 2001. It stood at 5% on January 2009. In January 2010, RBI increased the CRR from 5% to 5.75%. It further increased in April 2010 to 6% as inflationary pressures had started building up in the economy. As of March 2011, CRR is 6%.
4. Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)
Under SLR, the government has imposed an obligation on the banks to ,maintain a certain ratio to its total deposits with RBI in the form of liquid assets like cash, gold and other securities. The RBI has power to fix SLR in the range of 25% and 40% between 1990 and 1992 SLR was as high as 38.5%. Narasimham Committee did not favour maintenance of high SLR. The SLR was lowered down to 25% from 10thOctober 1997.It was further reduced to 24% on November 2008. At present it is 25%.
5. Repo And Reverse Repo Rates
In determining interest rate trends, the repo and reverse repo rates are becoming important. Repo means Sale and Repurchase Agreement. Repo is a swap deal involving the immediate Sale of Securities and simultaneous purchase of those securities at a future date, at a predetermined price. Repo rate helps commercial banks to acquire funds from RBI by selling securities and also agreeing to repurchase at a later date.
Reverse repo rate is the rate that banks get from RBI for parking their short term excess funds with RBI. Repo and reverse repo operations are used by RBI in its Liquidity Adjustment Facility. RBI contracts credit by increasing the repo and reverse repo rates and by decreasing them it expands credit. Repo rate was 6.75% in March 2011 and Reverse repo rate was 5.75% for the same period. On May 2011 RBI announced Monetary Policy for 2011-12. To reduce inflation it hiked repo rate to,7.25% and Reverse repo to 6.25%
II) SELECTIVE / QUALITATIVE CREDIT CONTROL METHODS :-
Under Selective Credit Control, credit is provided to selected borrowersfor selected purpose, depending upon the use to which the control try to regulate the quality of credit - the direction towards thecredit flows. The Selective Controls are :-
1. Ceiling On Credit
The Ceilingon level of credit restricts the lending capacity of a bank to grant advances against certain controlled securities.
2. MarginRequirements :-
A loan is sanctioned against Collateral Security. Margin means that proportion of the value of security against which loan is not given. Margin against a particular security is reduced or increased in order to encourageor to discourage the flow of credit to a particular sector. It varies from 20% to 80%. For agricultural commodities it is as high as 75%. Higher the margin lesser will be the loan sanctioned.
3. Discriminatory Interest Rate (DIR)
Through DIR, RBI makes credit flow to certain priority or weaker sectors by charging concessional rates of interest. RBI issues supplementary instructions regarding granting of additional credit against sensitive commodities, issue of guarantees, making advances etc. .
The RBI issues directives to banks regarding advances. Directives are regarding the purpose for which loans may or may not be given.
5. Direct Action
It is too severe and is therefore rarely followed. It may involve refusal by RBI to rediscount bills or cancellation of license, if the bank has failed to comply with the directives of RBI.
6. Moral Suasion
Under Moral Suasion, RBI issues periodical letters to bank to exercise control over credit in general or advances against particular commodities. Periodic discussions are held with authorities of commercial banks in this respect.