RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das calls for 'frank discussions' with the govt

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das at the press conference in Mumbai | Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar
New Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das said he will preserve the “core values” of the central bank, but called for “frank discussions” with the government.

Das a former economic affairs secretary at the Finance Ministry, took charge at the Reserve Bank of India for a three-year term on Wednesday, two days after Urjit Patel quit amid worries that the government was encroaching on the central bank’s turf. Das, a career bureaucrat, is seen as someone who can ease tensions with the state, prompting a mixed reaction from markets.

“I will try and uphold professionalism, core values, credibility and autonomy of this institution. It’s an honour and great opportunity to serve RBI. I will try my best to work with everyone and work in the interest of Indian economy,” said Das at a press conference in Mumbai.

“There have to be free, fair and frank discussions between the government and the RBI,” he said. “The government is not just a stakeholder but manages major policy decisions.”

Das said the RBI board meeting scheduled for Friday will be held as planned but no specific agenda has been fixed. The government, at the meeting, is expected to push for tighter supervision of the RBI, including setting up committees to have oversight of various functions, from foreign exchange management to financial stability, said a Bloomberg report.

Das will meet with chiefs of public sector lenders in Mumbai on Friday and will other banks later. He said he will “interact with all stakeholders” about liquidity crunch.