MUMBAI: Declaring that he will uphold the ‘autonomy, integrity and credibility’ of the RBI, newly-appointed Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday that the government is responsible for running the country and the central bank is also accountable.
Briefing reporters here after taking charge as the 25th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Das said that consultations with stakeholders have become fundamental to the central bank’s functioning in view of the complexity of modern-day decision-making, and as part of this process he would meet the heads of the Mumbai-based state-run banks on Thursday.
Meetings with public sector banks outside Mumbai would follow “after some days”, he added.
“The RBI is a great institution and I will try my best to uphold its autonomy, identity and values. The autonomy, integrity and credibility is very important for this great institution and it will remain intact,” he assured.
In response to queries on the recent government-RBI tiff culminating in the resignation of Urjit Patel as Governor, Das refused to go into contentious issues.
“I do not like to go into whatever the issues or what are the issues between the government which runs the country and the RBI, but every institution has to have its professional integrity, maintain its professional autonomy. At the same time, every institution also must adhere to the principles of accountability,” he said.
“Government is not just a stakeholder but I mean the government of the day runs the economy, runs the country and manages major policy decisions.
“There has to be a free, fair, objective and very frank discussion between the government and the RBI. And, I believe that all issues, however contentious, can be resolved through discussions,” he added.
Das, who holds post graduation degree in history from the Delhi University, unlike his predecessors Urjit Patel and Raghuram Rajan, who were economists of repute, said the RBI board meeting would be held on Friday (December 14) as scheduled.
“We will hold the central board meeting as planned on December 14 and go through the agenda and discuss the various issues that are listed,” he said.
Das took charge as the RBI Governor a day after Urjit Patel resigned amidst a tiff with the Central government on the issue of RBI’s autonomy. Das had steered the monetary situation post-demonetization as the Economic Affairs Secretary.
On the issue of RBI’s reserves, he said a committee to examine it would be constituted shortly and then with the appointment of its Chairman, the terms of reference of the committee would be drawn with fixed timelines.
Das said he does not want to discuss individual issues as he intends to settle down first and study the issues before taking any decision. On capital requirement in the economy, he said he is open to discussing all issues within the ambit of RBI.
“After the amendment of the RBI Act, the inflation targeting continues to be very important and it’s very heartening to note that inflation broadly is as per the targets and inflation outlook also looks fairly benign at this stage, but we have to be very watchful of the developments,” he said. IANS
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