What are CRR and SLR with respect to banks?

CRR or cash reserve ratio is the minimum proportion / percentage of a bank's deposits to be held in the form of cash. Banks actually don't hold these as cash with themselves, but deposit the same with RBI / currency chests, which is considered equivalent to holding cash with themselves.

When a bank's deposits increase by Rs. 100 crore, and considering the present cash reserve ratio of 6%, bank will have to hold additional Rs. 6 crore with RBI and will be able to use only Rs. 94 crore for investments and lending. Therefore, higher the CRR, lower the amount that banks can lend. Thus RBI can control the liquidity by changing the CRR i.e. increase CRR to reduce the lendable amount and vice-versa.

SLR or statutory liquidity ratio is the minimum percentage of deposits that a bank has to maintain in form of gold, cash or other approved securities. It is the ratio of liquid assets (cash and approved securities) to the demand and term liabilities / deposits.

RBI is empowered to increase this ratio up to 40%. An increase in SLR restricts the bank's leverage position to pump more money into the economy, thereby regulating credit growth.