In a conversation with businessline editor Raghuvir Srinivasan, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das shares the post-Covid recovery journey of India. The Reserve Bank of India, under Governor Shaktikanta Das, has distinguished itself as an astute manager of the economy and financial system. RBI’s actions helped the Centre tide over the Covid-19 pandemic. The relative stability of the Indian Rupee amid the recent bout of global turbulence is also due to RBI’s prudent management of forex reserves.
businessline’s 2023 Changemaker of the Year award citation:
The last three years have been rather turbulent for India’s economy and its financial system. First came the pandemic and just as the economy was beginning to recover, it was hit by the war in Ukraine. The one institution that stood by in support of the economy, shining like a beacon, was the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). With a steady hand at the wheel in the form of
Governor Shaktikanta Das, the RBI employed the right mixture of prudence, pragmatism and regulatory forbearance, to guide the economy out of the choppy waters.
When Covid hit, the RBI quickly dropped the repo rate to a historic low of 4 per cent and ensured adequate liquidity and credit was available in a timely and targeted manner to the borrowers who most needed it. When Covid passed, the RBI was prudent enough to roll back these measures quickly. The central bank kept up its stringent regulation of banks and
NBCs through the tough times. Thus, India’s lenders were primed to cater to reviving credit demand as the economy bounced back.
While central banks in the West struggled, RBI adroitly steered monetary policy to strike the right balance between inflation and growth in India. After the 250 basis point rate hikes between May 2022 and April 2023, it has wisely looked through seasonal bouts of inflation, to enable growth.
The RBI has always had a reputation for conservatism. Under Governor Das, it has been a champion of innovation too, nurturing India’s world-beating digital payments ecosystem with enabling regulations. It has, rightly, opposed legalising of cryptocurrencies.
In a refreshing change from the past, the RBI and the government have worked together harmoniously in crafting policies that have powered the economy. Credit for this give-and-take must surely go to the seasoned ex-bureaucrat at the RBI’s helm - Governor Shaktikanta Das.
The businessline Changemaker of the Year award goes to the Reserve Bank of India, under the stewardship of Governor Shaktikanta Das.
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