Shaktikanta Das promises to uphold RBI autonomy; will meet PSB heads today

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Within an hour Shaktikanta Das took charge as RBI Governor on Wednesday, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy alleged that newly appointed RBI Governor was involved in corrupt activities. "We've not politically interfered in it (in the functioning of RBI)", he said.

He refused to answer questions on the alleged disagreement between the government and the central bank.

He added that he would meet private sector banks as well.

Saying the government has not "destroyed the Reserve Bank as an institution", Union minister Nitin Gadkari Thursday asserted the central bank is part and parcel of the government and therefore it has to support the economic vision of the government of the day.

Earlier, a Parliamentary Committee had expressed apprehension over the PCA framework and asked the RBI to "relax or review" PCA in case of banks where even retail banking is prohibited.

Das, the 25th RBI governor, has mostly worked in economic and finance departments in the state and the centre during his 37-year-long tenure.

On queries regarding the relationship between the central bank and the government, he said, "We have to have stakeholder consultation with everybody". "All issues can be resolved through discussions", NDTV quoted him as saying. Addressing his first media gathering after being appointed as the new RBI chief, Das said that it is an honour and great opportunity for him to serve RBI, adding that he will try his best to work with everyone and work in the interest of Indian economy.

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"I will try and uphold professionalism, core values, credibility and autonomy of this institution".

Given the current structure, the central board plays advisory role but there is growing clamour to make it operational and have greater participation in key decisions of the central bank.

Elaborating on his communication approach, the governor said decision making had become far more complex in today's world and consultation with stakeholders was very important. 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.

On the contentious issue of the central bank's capital (reserves), he said a committee would be constituted shortly and then its terms of reference would be drawn.

Talking on policy priorities, he said, "There are number of issues ahead".

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