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Understanding Statutory Liquidity Ratio(SLR): Its significance & Impact on Economy

Updated: May 3, 2023


Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) is a key financial tool used by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to regulate liquidity in the Indian banking system. It is a percentage of deposits that banks are required to maintain in the form of liquid assets, such as cash, gold, and government securities. SLR plays an important role in maintaining financial stability, ensuring credit availability, and supporting the implementation of monetary policy in India.

Definition and Significance of Statutory Liquidity Ratio(SLR)

SLR is a regulatory requirement imposed on Indian banks, under the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The ratio specifies the minimum percentage of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) that banks are required to maintain in the form of liquid assets. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that banks have sufficient resources to meet the demands of their depositors and to maintain stability in the financial system.

SLR has been a key policy tool in India for several decades. The requirement was introduced in the 1960s to channel savings towards productive sectors of the economy and to control inflation. Since then, the SLR has been revised periodically, in response to changing economic conditions and policy objectives.

Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) requirement for banks

The SLR requirement is applicable to all types of banks in India, including commercial banks, cooperative banks, and regional rural banks. The requirement is expressed as a percentage of their NDTL, which includes both demand and time deposits.

The RBI has the authority to adjust the SLR requirement based on various factors, including changes in economic conditions, inflation rates, and the monetary policy stance. Higher SLR requirements are typically imposed during times of high inflation and low liquidity, while lower requirements are implemented during times of economic growth and stability.

Implications of SLR on the Banking System

SLR has important implications for the banking system in India. By requiring banks to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in the form of liquid assets, the SLR helps to ensure that banks have sufficient resources to meet the demands of their depositors. This can enhance confidence in the banking system and promote financial stability.

The SLR also affects credit availability and liquidity in the banking system. By restricting the amount of funds that banks can lend, the SLR can limit credit availability and affect interest rates. Changes in the SLR requirement can also impact liquidity in the banking system, as banks may need to adjust their investment portfolios to comply with the new requirements.

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