India cenbank external panel sought no change in rates in Dec policy

MUMBAI, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Most external members of a Reserve Bank of India advisory committee recommended holding the key repo rate steady at the central bank’s policy review on Dec. 1, as per minutes released on Tuesday.

Four of the five external members of the Technical Advisory Committee cited upside risks to inflation as well as transmission needed for the hefty 50 basis point rate cut at the Sept. 29 policy review, for the status quo.

The fifth member recommended a rate cut by 25 basis points since CPI inflation was low, the release said.

The RBI decided to keep its key lending rate unchanged at its last policy review, leaving the door open for more easing but making that dependent on meeting a challenging inflation target for 2017.

“Firming up of inflation warrants monetary policy to be cautious as it keeps its immediate target of 6 per cent in its sight. Members felt that the rising inflation itself should warrant no change in financial accommodation,” the release said.

The technical advisory committee has no voting powers on rate decisions and its recommendations are merely meant to guide the central bank governor in taking decisions. (Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)