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HSBC chief sees no major rate hikes by India's apex bank

New Delhi: India's central bank may not drastically change the accommodative monetary policy when it revises it on Jan 29, but could look at measures to suck excess liquidity from the markets, according to HSBC India chief Naina Lal Kidwai. "I don't think the Reserve Bank of India will hike the rates drastically. The CRR (cash reserve ratio) may see a small increase, but the effect would not be huge, given the ample liquidity situation," Kidwai said. According to her, the Reserve Bank would look at measures to maintain the economic growth momentum, which was helped in many ways through rate cuts and the various stimulus packages announced by the government. The HSBC India chief said she expected the economy to grow at a faster pace next fiscal, with the agriculture sector playing a key role. "Any improvement in agriculture will have a bearing on growth rates. We had negative growth rates in agriculture earlier, but this will change now," Kidwai told reporters on the sidelines of a conference. "Also, the standing crop now is not as poor as many people thought it to be." (IANS)