On his first day in office as the 25th Governor of the RBI, Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday spoke about upholding the autonomy and integrity of the central bank and the need for free, fair and frank discussions between the government and the RBI. In his first media interaction as RBI Governor, he spoke about issues before the central bank. Excerpts:
ON THE RBI:
The RBI is a great institution, it has got a very long legacy, a very rich legacy. I will work as a team with other officials in RBI in the best interest of the economy and try and take measures in a timely manner on issues, on aspects which the economy requires or which are in the best interest of the Indian economy.
RBI vs GOVT:
I wouldn’t go into the issues between the RBI and government but every institution has to maintain its autonomy and also adhere to accountability. I don’t know whether the government-RBI relationship is blocked, but I feel stakeholder consultations have to go on. There have to be free, fair and frank discussions between the government and the RBI. The government is not just a stakeholder but manages major policy decisions.
There are a number of issues ahead. After the amendment of Reserve Bank of India Act, the inflation targeting continues to be very important and it is very heartening to note that the inflation is broadly as per the targets and the outlook also looks fairly benign at this stage. However, we have to be very watchful …
The issue of liquidity also comes up in the media space and the public space from time to time. There again, I think that will be an area, where one has to interact with stakeholders and get an internal feedback and then take a view on these issues.
The maintenance of the growth trajectory of the economy is also important. So, there are several areas which RBI has to be dealing with and so we will focus on those areas. All these issues have been under focus. It is not as if these areas did not receive any attention, all these aspects have been receiving focus, but it is a continuing exercise on the part of the central bank and therefore we will continue to focus on these areas.
Banking is … currently facing several challenges, which are of critical importance and they need to be dealt with. I am not implying that nothing has been done, a lot has been done both by the government and by the RBI, several measures have been taken but many more measures also perhaps need to be taken.