While the central bank had said it would replace the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) with an external benchmark for fixing retail loan interest rates, it deferred the decision.

The central bank’s anticipated move to link interest rates on retail loans to an external benchmark was expected to increase transparency and speed of transmission of changes in interest rates in economy. This comes on the backdrop of the RBI asking banks repeatedly to transmit lower rates, something the banks have failed to do over time.

As per the policy statement, RBI said, "Taking into account the feedback received during discussions held with stakeholders on issues such as (i) management of interest rate risk by banks from fixed interest rate linked liabilities against floating interest rate linked assets and the related difficulties, and (ii) the lead time required for IT system upgradation, it has been decided to hold further consultations with stakeholders and work out an effective mechanism for transmission of rates."