Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday said the country is at the doorstep of economic revival on the back of accommodative monetary and fiscal policies being pursued by the central bank and the government.
Das was speaking at the launch of the book ''Portraits of Power: Half a Century of Being at Ringside'', written by former bureaucrat and current chairman of the Finance Commission N K Singh.
"We are almost at the doorstep of revival process and it's very important that the financial entities have adequate capital (to support growth)," he said.
Many of them have already raised capital and others are planning, he said, adding they would certainly do so in the coming months.
Das said as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic set in, the RBI asked all the banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to undertake stress tests internally.
"Related to the stress tests, I myself appealed and I have myself interacted with the banks and NBFCs and we have impressed upon them the need to build up proactively capital buffers and adequately capitalise their financial entities...," he said.
Capitalisation would not only strengthen their inherent resilience to tide over the financial stress, but also ensure they have adequate funds to support growth by maintaining credit flow, he added.
Asked if there is symmetry between the fiscal and monetary policy, Das said both are in an accommodative stance.
"Both policies are working in close symmetry. In fact, both fiscal and monetary policies are today at the moment counter-cyclical.
"The government has undertaken several measures in very, very prudent and well calibrated measure in the context of the pandemic.
“First, to provide financial support to the vulnerable sections of the society and then provide certain kinds of relief to the other segments like industry and business," he said.
As far as the central bank is concerned, the Governor said "we are already in a monetary expansion mode. In fact, we have deployed several instruments and tools which were not in the toolkit of the RBI."
With regard to reforms in the banking sector, he said the issue of governance in banks, NBFCs and financial institutions became very important post the global financial meltdown.
"Banks which have robust governance practices, robust internal controls systems, robust risk assessment and which do not undertake smart accounting, if I can put that way, I think those banks are the ones which are never over-leveraged, they always survive. Not only survive, they grow in every crisis...governance reforms is ownership agnostic," Das emphasised.
Governance reforms deal with the functioning of the CEOs, the board committees and risk assessment functions, he said, adding all these are very important for banks and NBFCs.
Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters