The Reserve Bank of India left key interest rates on hold on Thursday, as expected, after six increases since March. However, the bank cut SLR to 24% with effect from December 18.
Currently the Reverse Repo Rate stands at 5.25%, Repo Rate stands at 6.25% and CRR stands at 6%.
Most of 23 economists surveyed had expected the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to keep rates on hold this week while expecting another 25 basis points of increase in key rates by end-March 2011, a Reuters poll on Tuesday had showed.
The Reserve Bank of India has been the most aggressive major central bank in Asia this year, lifting key lending and borrowing rates by 150 and 200 basis points, respectively, as surging prices spurred by rising food costs undermine purchasing power in an economy growing at nearly 9 percent.
Liquidity in the banking system has been unusually tight since November, with banks borrowing an average of around 1 trillion rupees ($22.2 billion) from the central bank each day.
The headline inflation eased in line with expectations to its lowest level in a year in November. It rose just 7.48 percent in November compared with 8.58 percent in October, data released on Tuesday showed.
India's economy, Asia's third-largest, is expected to expand by at least 8.5 percent in 2010/11, the fastest pace among major Asian economies after China.