Institutionalise systems

Institutionalise systems This refers to the report "RBI to audit 9,500 NBFCs to check on levels of compliance" (The Hindu Business Line, January 4). The passing observation that "the RBI's supervisory staff strength is only about 1500" says much more than the words and number contained therein. RBI missed a chance to reorganise during the last decade as the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Committee strayed away from its focus and tried to reinvent the role of RBI. The result is the present unenviable position of India's central bank burdened with several responsibilities which traditional central banks have transferred to new arms. Outsourcing of core responsibilities in financial sector cannot replace in-house skills development in the long term. RBI's depleting staff strength is affecting institutional efficiency, especially its regulatory and supervisory outreach to financial institutions engaged in banking and banking-related activities outside formal commercial banks (including cooperatives and NBFCs. Perhaps the answer lies in building new specialised regulatory institutions to handle non-banks and cooperatives having stakes in banking business. M G Warrier Mumbai


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