India central bank keeps rate on hold but says ready to act swiftly

MUMBAI, October 24, 2008 (AFP) – India’s central bank kept its key interest rates steady on Friday but declared it was ready to take “unconventional and swift” measures to deal with the global financial crisis. “This (crisis) is unchartered territory with no standard or conventional solutions,” Reserve Bank of India governor D. Subbarao said in his mid-term annual monetary policy review.

“In this context, we will be ready to respond swiftly, employing conventional and unconventional measures,” he said.

The bank kept its leading repo rate at which it lends to commercial banks on hold after cutting it Monday by a surprise full percentage point to 8.0 percent. It has also injected billions of dollars into the financial system to spur lending and kick-start the economy.