The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s board under newly-appointed governor Shaktikanta Das, set to meet Friday, is unlikely to take any major decisions relating to lending norms and providing relief to banks under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework. He took charge on Wednesday. "It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years", read his statement on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The 18-member board, which includes monetary policy makers, finance ministry representatives and industrialists, is expected to discuss issues relating to easing of lending restrictions on some of the country's weakest state-run banks. "At the same time, every institution also must adhere to the principles of accountability". The bankers also sought some easing in the one-day default norm announced in the February 12 RBI circular, said another banker.
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. As many as 11 out of 21 government-owned banks have been placed under the PCA framework for high non-performing assets and negative return on assets.
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Das is meeting Mumbai-based state-run banks Thursday to get a feedback on the issues facing them. Immediately after taking over, Das made it clear that he will follow the process of consultation and deliberation, at least to begin with.
Das noted inflation targeting and maintaining the growth trajectory as part of his agenda. But we have to be very watchful of developments. Patel's resignation came nearly a year before his tenure was slated to end and days before a crucial RBI meeting on December 14.
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Rating agency Fitch Ratings has warned that a roll-back of measures that address long-standing bad-loan problems and restrict the growth of weakly-capitalised banks could have a negative impact on the credit profiles of the affected banks and may increase risks in the financial system.
The comments come days after the past governor Urjit Patel suddenly resigned + in protest following a host of issues with the government, including those on autonomy and its operational integrity, and the appointment of ex-bureaucrat Shaktikanta Das + as the new governor, who has been the pointsman of the Modi government during the controversial note-ban months, within a day of Patel calling it quits.
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