MSS cap raised to `6 trillion to mop up excess liquidity

In order to mop up extra liquidity from the system in view of demonetisation, government and the Reserve Bank on Friday  sharply raised the Market Stabilisation Scheme (MSS) ceiling to Rs 6 lakh crore from Rs 30,000 crore. Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said RBI will operate within that limit as per requirement, not as if the entire quantum of MSS would be utilised overnight.

“Whatever liabilities come in this year we should be able to absorb it in Budget provisions for interest payment, which is there already in the Budget,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, RBI today auctioned the 28-day Cash Management Bills of Government of India worth Rs 20,000 crore. The announcement regarding the auction of CMBs was made within minutes of increase in MSS ceiling. CMBs will have the generic character of Treasury Bills, it added.

After the withdrawal of the legal tender character of the Rs 500/1,000 denomination notes with effect from November 9, there has been a surge in deposits with the banks, the Reserve Bank said in a notification. Consequently, there has been a significant increase of liquidity in the banking system that is expected to continue for some time, it said.

“In order to facilitate liquidity management operations by the RBI in the current scenario, the government has, on the recommendation of the RBI, decided to revise the ceiling for issue of securities under the MSS to Rs 6,000 billion,” it added.

MSS bonds are issued with the objective of providing the central bank with a stock of securities with which it can intervene in the market for managing liquidity. These securities are not issued to meet government’s expenditure.

As part of liquidity management exercise, RBI last week asked lenders to temporarily maintain an incremental cash reserve ratio (CRR) of 100 per cent.


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