Former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday took charge as the 25th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He addressed a press conference soon after in Mumbai.
Read his full statement to the press:
"You would be aware I assumed charged as the 25th Governor this morning. I am grateful for all good wishes from many of you present here. RBI is a great institution and has a rich and long legacy. I will do everything possible. I will try and uphold the professionalism, core values, credibility and autonomy of the RBI as an institution. I have interacted at various levels with the officials of the RBI over the last ten or more years. The interaction has been not only at the senior levels but at the middle level and down the line. There were situations I was leading delegations from government of India which included officers from the RBI. I always found they possess inherent core competence and professionalism to deal with any technical issue – monetary aspects or currency management or any other aspect related to functioning of the central bank. I am looking forward to look with entire team of officers and staff of the RBI. It’s a great opportunity for any individual and especially for me to work in RBI and thereby to serve the country. That might sound a bit clichéd but its indeed a great opportunity. And I will work as a team with all officials here in the best interest of the economy and try and take measures in a timely manner on issues and aspects which economy requires or which are in the best interest of Indian economy.
Decision makings in the modern times have become very complex. Today we are living in a dynamic world and it is much more dynamic than five or ten years ago. But even three or five years ago. Decision making has become far more complex in today’s world and consultation with stakeholders is very important. Consultation with stakeholders add values and depth to our understanding of issues. Therefore, I propose to take consultations wherever necessary as per requirement in a need-based manner on various issues.
To begin with, I have convened a meeting with the MD and CEOs of public sector banks tomorrow morning. As you know, banking is an important segment of our economy and it is currently facing several challenges of critical importance that need to be dealt it. I am not implying in any manner that nothing has been done. A lot has been done both by the government and the RBI. Several measures have been taken but many more measures also perhaps need to be taken.
I propose to hold consultations with MD and CEOs of PSBs which are based in Mumbai. Immediately after that, maybe in a few days, I will hold consultations with chiefs of PSBs outside Mumbai as you cannot expect chiefs of banks outside Mumbai to come in such short notice. Subsequently, at some stage, I will have interaction with private sector banks also to understand issues relating to them. On the whole, it is the banking sector I would like to focus on immediately. It will be followed by other stakeholders consultations as required.
There are a number of issues ahead. As you would know after the amendment of the RBI Act, inflation targeting continues to be very important. It is very heartening to know inflation is broadly as per target and inflation outlook looks fairly benign at this stage but we have to watchful of developments. The issue of health of PSBs is an important issue as I have already mentioned. The issue of liquidity also comes up in the media and public space from time to time. 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 growth trajectory of the Indian economy is also important. So, there are several areas the central bank has to be dealing with and we will focus on those areas. All these areas have been under focus let me make it very clear. It’s not as if these didn’t receive any attention but it’s a continuing exercise on the part of the central bank and we will continue to focus on these areas.
You are aware the central board meeting is scheduled to be held on 14th of December. We will hold it as planned and will discuss various issues that are listed. Before I conclude, I would like to make note of the stewardship provided by my predecessor Urjit Patel to the RBI in the last two to two-and-a-half years and I would like to convey my best wishes to Urjit Patel for all future endeavours."