New Delhi, May 23 -- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) delivered an emergency rate cut for the second time in as many months on Friday as it judged that the coronavirus pandemic poses a grave threat to the country and will lead to the first economic contraction in 40 years.

Central bank governor Shaktikanta Das took to YouTube on Friday to announce a 40 basis points (bps) cut in repo and reverse repo rates, while markedly pivoting the central bank's focus from inflation control to fostering growth. Das pledged to take whatever "measures are necessary" to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The monetary policy committee's (MPC's) shift of focus to reviving growth, prompted by the severe economic stagnation, is borne out by its empha...