Newly-appointed RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday said his immediate focus will be the banking sector and that he would try to hold up the autonomy of the Central bank during his tenure.
Das has called a meeting of MDs and CEOs of public sector banks in Mumbai on Thursday as his first order of business. He will subsequently meet heads of public sectors banks based outside Mumbai and private sector banks.
Das also said the 14 December central board meeting of the will be held as planned.
While assuring that he would defend the central bank's autonomy at a time when the government has put pressure on it to ease regulatory curbs and boost growth, Das, a veteran government bureaucrat, also highlighted the need to take the government's views on board.
"Government is not just a stakeholder, but the government of the day runs the economy and manages major policy decisions," Das said, responding to a question on the breakdown of communication lines between the two sides.
While Das declined to elaborate on steps he had in mind to boost the economy, he sounded dovish on inflation and growth, which could mean a relaxation of some regulatory rules for banks.
"Inflation targeting is an important function which the RBI Act has mandated. It's a mandatory part of RBI's functioning. So that will remain very important," Das said, adding that the Act also mentions the importance of economic growth.
"Maintenance of the growth trajectory of the Indian economy is also important," Das said.
India's retail inflation rate on Wednesday fell to a 17-month low at 2.33 percent in November, lower than an expected 2.8 percent, driven by weaker food inflation.
(With inputs from Reuters)