Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Shaktikanta Das is the new RBI Governor

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das
Lloyd Bates | 14 December, 2018, 10:09

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s board under newly-appointed governor Shaktikanta Das, set to meet Friday, is unlikely to take any major decisions relating to lending norms and providing relief to banks under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework. He was instrumental in pushing GST soon after the Modi government took charge.

To a question on the stand-off between the RBI and Centre, Das said: "I would not like to go into what the issues were or what the issues are between the government, which runs the country, and the RBI".

In his introductory remarks at a media interaction, the former bureaucrat, who was appointed the 25th RBI Governor on Tuesday, underscored that the central bank is "a great institution". This followed a host of issues with the government, including those on autonomy and its operational integrity. He also underlined the need to ensure that we have to develop a transparent and corruption-free system that can fast-track the decision-making process and a system in which key government decisions should be binding on every institution. PCA banks are expected to further push for a relaxation at the meeting.

As many as 11, including Dena Bank and Allahabad Bank, of the 21 public sector banks (PSBs) are under the RBI's PCA framework. He also claimed that it is only the banking segment that is facing several challenges now that need to be solved as soon as possible.

Das is meeting Mumbai-based state-run banks Thursday to get a feedback on the issues facing them.

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Relaxation in PCA norms for weak banks was one of the key demands of the government, which felt that these norms are adversely impacting the lending capacity of banks, especially to the politically crucial small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

"Heartening to know that inflation is on target with a benign outlook", Das added.

The RBI central board meeting will be held as planned on December 14.

Rating agency Fitch Ratings has warned that a roll-back of measures that address long-standing bad-loan problems and restrict the growth of weakly-capitalised banks could have a negative impact on the credit profiles of the affected banks and may increase risks in the financial system.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shaktikanta Das for a period of three years after Urjit Patel resigned as RBI Governor. "I wish Dr Patel all the very best and many more years of public service".

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