On March 20, 2013, RBI has lowered Repo Rate by 25 basis points from 7.75% to 7.50%. The objective is ease pressure on the reviving economy.
Repo Rate, or repurchase rate, is the rate at which RBI lends to banks for short periods. This is done by RBI buying government bonds from banks with an agreement to sell them back at a fixed rate. If the RBI wants to make it more expensive for banks to borrow money, it increases the repo rate. Similarly, if it wants to make it cheaper for banks to borrow money, it reduces the repo rate.
Please note that Bank Rate and Repo Rate seem to be similar terms because in both of them RBI lends to the banks. However, Repo Rate is a short-term measure and it refers to short-term loans and used for controlling the amount of money in the market, Bank Rate is a long-term measure and is governed by the long-term monetary policies of the RBI. In broader term, bank rate is the rate of interest which a central bank charges on the loans and advances that it extends to commercial banks and other financial intermediaries. RBI uses this tool to control the money supply.
How Repo Rate Works?
When RBI reduces the Repo Rate, the banks can borrow more at a lower cost. This contributes to lowering of the rates. The effects can be seen on the markets in short term.