Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Thursday said that the country’s economic activity should not be hampered due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases, the Hindustan Times reported.
“The revival of economic activity which has happened should continue unabated going forward,” Das said, while responding to a question at an event in Delhi.
He also said that with the vaccination drive underway, the stringent lockdowns that were imposed during the first wave of the pandemic last year, might not be needed again. “This time around we have some additional insurance against the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the RBI chief said.
He, however, added that the rise in coronavirus cases in many parts of the country is a “matter of concern”. The government is struggling with the highest single-day tally of new infections and deaths this year. Only the United States and Brazil have higher coronavirus cases than India.
Das expressed confidence that the central bank’s prediction of a 10.5% growth in the financial year 2021-’22 will not require a downward revision. Commenting on the narrative of a “V-shaped recovery” of the economy, Das said that the RBI has never used any alphabet to denote the recovery but came out with a number, which is being maintained, PTI reported.
He also said that the RBI is in talks with the government regarding the privatisation of public sector banks and that the process will go forward. His comments came days after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured bank employees that all state-owned lenders will not be privatised under the central government’s disinvestment plan.
The RBI governor reiterated the central bank’s apprehension on cryptocurrencies, once again suggesting that it has flagged major concerns about it to the government, The Indian Express reported. Das said that there was no difference of opinion between the RBI and the government on cryptocurrencies, adding that both of them were committed to financial stability.
He, however, affirmed that the RBI did not wish to hurt innovation done by the financial technology players and will keep its regulations in sync with their work, PTI reported.