Reserve Bank of India (RBI) remains fully committed to maintain financial stability of the country and ensure that the economy does well, its Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Friday.

Accepting the businessline’s ‘Changemaker of the Year’ award on behalf of the RBI at a well-attended gala event in the capital, Das said he was receiving it on behalf of more than 13,000 officers and employees who through their hard work and team effort helped the central bank steer through the Covid crisis in a successful manner.

“The entire RBI team rose to the occasion (to manage the Covid crisis). It is not that the crisis period is over. We are still having other challenges every day,” Das said interacting with businessline Editor Raghuvir Srinivasan after receiving the award.

Union Power Minister RK Singh presented the businessline Changemaker of the Year award to the RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das in the presence of Nirmala Lakshman, Chairperson of The Hindu Group.

Das said that RBI had, before the announcement of the Covid-19 lockdown, proactively set up a quarantine facility and had taken steps to ensure that the operations of the money market remained unaffected in that difficult period.

“We ensured continuity of money market operations for a year,” Das said.

Responding to Srinivasan’s question on whether being a former senior bureaucrat in the Union Finance Ministry is helping him in his role as RBI Governor, Das said that his earlier stint in government  did help him. “I was member of both sides (Govt and RBI) and that might have helped. I was member of central board of RBI when I was in government and that helped me. But it is credit to team of RBI for their Great and fantastic contribution,” he added.

Das underscored the need for proper co-ordination and strong co-operation between the government and the RBI to ensure that policy measures (whether taken by central bank or government) are effective.

“In our case, I can tell you there has been excellent coordination and cooperation between government and central bank,” he said.

Now there is growing realisation that each of the institutions need each other. “In the central bank, we need the support of government to make legislative changes like amendments to RBI Act, giving legislative powers to regulate co-operate banks and regulate NBFCs. Government also needs support of RBI to deal with crisis like fallout of Covid, fallout of Ukraine war and inflation.”

To another question from Srinivasan on what three important qualities a central banker needs, Das outlined them as to have strong common sense and to visualise how monetary policy measures are going to affect the real economy; capability to keep an open mind (capacity to smell a crisis)  and develop capacity to anticipate potential problem, and encourage team work through a collective process as a leader.