RBI Conducts Rs 44430 Crore VRRR Auctions To Absorb Liquidity

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently conducted two significant variable rates reverse repo (VRRR) auctions, collectively amounting to ₹44,430 crore.

This strategic move was aimed at absorbing the surplus liquidity from the banking system, ensuring financial stability, and maintaining balanced market conditions.

Despite the central bank‘s readiness to absorb up to ₹1-lakh crore, the actual utilization by banks was considerably lower.

Details of the VRRR Auctions

First VRRR Auction

In the first auction, the banks deployed ₹32,576 crore out of the notified amount of ₹50,000 crore. This was conducted at a weighted average rate of 6.49 percent.

The decision to hold this auction came as the liquidity surplus in the banking system was approaching ₹1 trillion.

The RBI’s intervention through this auction was a preemptive measure to manage the overnight money market rates effectively.

Second VRRR Auction

The second auction also saw significant participation from the banks, albeit to a lesser extent than the first one.

The total amount absorbed in this round added up to the cumulative ₹44,430 crore.

These VRRR auctions are part of the central bank’s broader strategy to manage liquidity conditions and ensure that the market rates remain aligned with the policy rates.

Context of Liquidity Surplus

Surplus Liquidity in the Banking System

The banking system’s liquidity surplus had reached a substantial ₹98,920 crore, which led to a decline in the overnight money market rates.

This surplus liquidity can create various challenges for the central bank, including the potential for rates to fall below the desired levels.

Impact on Call Rates

The excess liquidity caused the call rate, which is the rate at which banks lend to each other overnight, to drop below the repo rate.

The repo rate is the rate at which the RBI lends money to commercial banks, and maintaining it is crucial for monetary policy transmission.

The RBI’s intervention through the VRRR auctions was aimed at stabilizing these rates and ensuring that they did not fall below the benchmark set by the central bank.

Market Reactions and Expectations

Anticipated Liquidity Trends

Market participants expect the liquidity surplus to continue in the current month, albeit with some fluctuations.

Factors such as upcoming elections and other external events may cause temporary variations in the liquidity conditions.

However, the overall trend has been one of surplus liquidity, indicating a stable and well-functioning financial market.

Challenges and Stability

Despite potential challenges from external factors, the liquidity situation has remained largely stable throughout April.

This ongoing surplus has provided a cushion for the banking system, allowing for smoother operations and reduced volatility in the money markets.

The Role of VRRR in Monetary Policy

Absorption of Excess Liquidity

The VRRR auctions are a critical tool in the RBI’s monetary policy arsenal.

By conducting these auctions, the central bank can absorb excess liquidity from the banking system, preventing overheating and ensuring that the interest rates remain within the desired range.

Ensuring Market Stability

Through these auctions, the RBI can also signal its monetary policy stance to the market.

By adjusting the rates and the amounts absorbed, the central bank can influence market expectations and maintain overall financial stability.


The RBI’s recent VRRR auctions, totaling ₹44,430 crores, were a strategic move to manage the surplus liquidity in the banking system.

By absorbing this excess liquidity, the central bank aimed to stabilize overnight money market rates and ensure that they remain aligned with the policy rates.

Despite potential challenges and fluctuations, the liquidity situation has remained largely stable, signaling a well-functioning and resilient financial market.

The VRRR auctions continue to play a crucial role in the RBI’s broader monetary policy framework, helping to maintain stability and promote orderly market conditions.

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