Economy

WATCH: In First Briefing As RBI Governor, Shaktikanta Das Promises To Uphold Central Bank's Autonomy, Consult, And Resolve All Issues, However Contentious, Through Discussions

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Published:

A full transcript of the first press conference of new RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das:

"I want to be very brief. I don't plan to make any major announcements. I will take my time to settle down and get a sense of things.

I'm grateful for all the good wishes I've received.

The RBI is a great institution with a long and rich legacy. I will do everything possible to uphold professional core values and autonomy of RBI.

I have interacted at various levels with RBI officials over last 10 years, not only at senior level and middle level and down the line. 

READ | A full agenda and Opposition tweets await Shaktikanta Das as he takes charge as RBI Governor today. Here's all you need to know

There were situations when I was leading delegations for the government. I found that they possess core competence and professionalism to deal with aspects of the functioning of the central bank. 

I look forward to working with them. It's a great opportunity to work at RBI and serve the country.

Will work as a team and in the best interest of the economy and take measures in a timely manner as per what the economy requires

Decision-making in modern times has become complex. We're living in a dynamic time. Five to ten years ago is a long time, it is in the past now. The consultation with stakeholders is very very important. 

It adds value to our understanding, depth to the understanding of issues. I propose to undertake consultations wherever required. I have convened a meeting with MDs and CEOs of PSBs tomorrow in the morning. The segment of our economy currently facing a challenge.

A lot has been done by the government and the RBI. Several measures were taken and several more need to be taken. 

I propose to consult with PSB MD-CEOs based in Mumbai, and the then the chiefs of PSBs outside Mumbai. Subsequently, I will have interaction with the private banks. It's a banking sector that I'd like to focus on in the immediate term.  

After the RBI act amendment, inflation targeting continues to be the focus and it is good to know that inflation's within target and looks benign at this time.

The issue of health of PSBs is important. The issue of liquidity also comes up. That'll be an area where one has to interact with stakeholders.

Maintenance of growth trajectory of the Indian economy also important. Several areas that central bank has to deal with. We will focus on these. It's not as if they didn't receive attention.

I will hold a board meeting on December 14 as planned. I must also make note of the stewardship provided by Urjit Patel in the last two years and thank him for it.

(Answering question on the view that RBI management should be accountable to RBI board) - I would not like to go into issues with the govt which runs the country and RBI, but every institution has to have professional integrity and autonomy and also adhere to accountability.

(On Economic capital framework committee) Let the committee be constituted. It has to be constituted. It'll be constituted very shortly. That will spell out how much time is required. Will have to consult the chairman of the committee.

(On whether he will he first fix relationship with government, that communication channels are blocked) - I don't know about what is blocked. I wouldn't like to go into that. We have to have consultations with everyone. Govt isn't a stakeholder, but also runs the economy and manages major policy decisions. There have to be free, fair discussions. Would like to believe all issued, however contentious, can be resolved through discussions. 

"On views on individual issues, let me settle down, study and get to them. My personal views would not matter, have to see issues before commenting because of wide-ranging issues of the RBI"

(On prompt corrective action framework) For PCA there is a general consultation. Banks are an important part of the economy. Will have a general interaction with them. 

(On easing capital requirements) Won't answer. I'm open to discussing all issues

(On credit to MSMEs, NBFCs being risks to growth) There are various challenges. All that come under the domain of Central bank will receive attention.

(Your views on interest rate and inflation) That's for MPC to decide. Inflation targeting is a key function of RBI, MPC will decide.

(On Growth momentum in context of inflation) Inflation targeting is important & mandatory for RBI. That will remain important. I'm not bringing anything extraneous to RBI Act. I'm not saying anything beyond RBI Act. What measures we will take you will only know later.

"Life is never simple, there are always multiple challenges. We will deal with them"

(What will be there for Aam Aadmi) - MPC will decide.

(Is RBI independence intact) I will uphold autonomy, integrity and credibility of RBI as an institution and it will be intact."

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