RBI governor Shaktikanta Das vows to uphold central bank's autonomy and values

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Addressing issues concerning the banking sector will be one of the immediate priorities of the newly-appointed Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Shaktikanta Das, who has called for a meeting with the chief executives of Mumbai-based public sector banks on Thursday. "But that does not mean RBI can declare independence from its board of directors", said a source.

"Even if we accept RBI's autonomy, it is the responsibility of the central bank to support the vision of the government". PCA banks are expected to further push for a relaxation at the meeting. "Subsequently at some stage, I will have an interaction with the private sector banks also to understand the issues relating to them", he added.

As economic affairs secretary from 2015 to 2017, Das has worked closely with the central bank.

On queries regarding the relationship between the central bank and the government, he said, "We have to have stakeholder consultation with everybody".

The day Urjit Patel resigned as RBI Governor, Subramanian Swamy urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to dissuade RBI Governor Urjit Patel from leaving, saying his resignation would be wrong for the government, economy and the institution at this time. So, there has to be free, fair, objective and very frank discussions between the government and the RBI. "All issues can be resolved through discussions", NDTV quoted him as saying.

"Wouldn't go into issues between RBI and government but every institution has to maintain its autonomy and also adhere to accountability", RBI Governor Das said.

He said that he would like to focus on the banking sector immediately. He said that as the new RBI chief he will try and uphold professionalism, core values, credibility and autonomy of this institution.

Market participants are hopeful that the new governor will be more communicative and sympathetic to their concerns.

"As you know, banking is an important segment facing several challenges which are of critical importance, which need to be dealt with".

Former Reserve Bank of India governor Bimal Jalan and former deputy governor Rakesh Mohan may be considered as members of the panel.

Das said, "There are a number of issues ahead".

Of RBI's reserves of Rs 9 lakh crore, about Rs 2.3 lakh crore is part of "contingency reserves" that can not be touched, while a large part of the balance amount is on account of currency and gold revaluation.

"The issue of liquidity also comes up in the media space and the public space from time to time".

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