Reserve Bank likely to defer rate hike on Omicron woes

NEW DELHI: Since COVID-19 infections mount in the country resulting in curbs in various states and impacting the fragile recovery, several  economists are expecting Reserve bank of India  to delay the policy normalisation move, which is expected in the February review.

The country has reported a singleday rise of 58,097 new COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday morning, which is seenthe highest in around 199 days,  of which 2,135 are Omicron cases and later in the day, the first confirmed Omicron-related death has also been reported. Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 653 Omicron cases followed by Delhi at 464, Kerala 185, Rajasthan 174, Gujarat 154 and Tamil Nadu 121 cases, taking the total tally of cases to 3,50,18,358.

The active cases were recorded above 2 lakh after around 81 days and the COVID toll has surpassed to 4,82,551. HDFC Bank chief economist Abheek Barua does not see the RBI monetary policy committee (MPC) going ahead with the policy normalisaiton drive anytime soon, at least not in the next review in February as he expects the rising Omicron cases to shave 30 basis points off the March quarter GDP.

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