Role and Functions of Reserve Bank of India and commercial banks

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Role of RBI

Pre-reform Post-reform
Developmental Role: the developmental role has increased in view of the changing structure of the economy with a focus on SMEs and financial inclusion Priority Sector Lending: Introduced from 1974 with public sector banks. Extended to all commercial banks by 1992 In the revised guidelines for PSL the thrust is on ensuring adequate flow of bank credit to those sectors that impact large segments of the population and weaker sections, and to the sectors which are employment intensive such as agriculture and small enterprises
Lead Bank Scheme Special Agricultural Credit Plan introduced.
Kisan Credit Card scheme (1998-99)
Focus on credit flow to micro, small and  medium enterprises development
Financial Inclusion
Monetary Policy: the role of RBI has changed from regulating credit and money flow directly to using market mechanisms for achieving policy targets. MP framework has changed to promote financial deregulations and market development. Role as a facilitator rather than as principal actor. M3 as an intermediary target Multiple Indicator Approach
Regulation of foreign exchange Management of foreign exchange
Direct credit control Open Market Operations, MSS, LAF
Rupee convertability highly managed Full current ac convertability and some capital account convertability
Banker to the government Monetary policy was linked to the fiscal policy due to automatic monetisation of the deficit Delinking of monetary policy from the fiscal policy. From 2006, under FRBM, RBI ceased to participate in the primary market auctions of the central government’s securities.
As regulator of financial sector: As regulator of the financial sector, RBI has faced the challenge of regulating the increasing financial sector in India. Credit flows have increased. RBI had to make sure that financial institutions are regulated in a way to protect the consumers while not impeding economic growth. Reduction in SLR
Custodian of FOREX reserves Forex reserves have increased drastically. Need to manage it adequately and avoid inflationary impact
Inflation Direct instruments were used Multiple indicators
Financial Stability Closed economy Increased FDI and FII has made financial stability one of the policy objectives.
Money Market Narsimhan Committee (1998) recommended reforms in the money market

 

Indian Money Market and Banking system is regulated by Reserve Bank of India.The Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

Main Functions of RBI are as follows:-

Monetary Authority:

  • Formulates, implements and monitors the monetary policy.
  • Objective: maintaining price stability while keeping in mind the objective of growth.

Regulator and supervisor of the financial system:

  • Prescribes broad parameters of banking operations within which the country’s banking and financial system functions.
  • Objective: maintain public confidence in the system, protect depositors’ interest and provide cost-effective banking services to the public.

Manager of Foreign Exchange

  • Manages the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.
  • Objective: to facilitate external trade and payment and promote orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India.

Issuer of currency:

  • Issues and exchanges or destroys currency and coins not fit for circulation.
  • Objective: to give the public adequate quantity of supplies of currency notes and coins and in good quality.

Developmental role

  • Performs a wide range of promotional functions to support national objectives.

Related Functions

  • Banker to the Government: performs merchant banking function for the central and the state governments; also acts as their banker.
  • Banker to banks: maintains banking accounts of all scheduled banks.

A Commercial bank is a type of financial institution that provides services such as accepting deposits, making business loans, and offering basic investment products

There is acute shortage of capital. People lack initiative and enterprise. Means of transport are undeveloped. Industry is depressed. The commercial banks help in overcoming these obstacles and promoting economic development. The role of a commercial bank in a developing country is discussed as under.

  1. Mobilising Saving for Capital Formation:

The commercial banks help in mobilising savings through network of branch banking. People in developing countries have low incomes but the banks induce them to save by introducing variety of deposit schemes to suit the needs of individual depositors. They also mobilise idle savings of the few rich. By mobilising savings, the banks channelize them into productive investments. Thus they help in the capital formation of a developing country.

  1. Financing Industry:

The commercial banks finance the industrial sector in a number of ways. They provide short-term, medium-term and long-term loans to industry.

  1. Financing Trade:

The commercial banks help in financing both internal and external trade. The banks provide loans to retailers and wholesalers to stock goods in which they deal. They also help in the movement of goods from one place to another by providing all types of facilities such as discounting and accepting bills of exchange, providing overdraft facilities, issuing drafts, etc. Moreover, they finance both exports and imports of developing countries by providing foreign exchange facilities to importers and exporters of goods.

  1. Financing Agriculture:

The commercial banks help the large agricultural sector in developing countries in a number of ways. They provide loans to traders in agricultural commodities. They open a network of branches in rural areas to provide agricultural credit. They provide finance directly to agriculturists for the marketing of their produce, for the modernisation and mechanisation of their farms, for providing irrigation facilities, for developing land, etc.

They also provide financial assistance for animal husbandry, dairy farming, sheep breeding, poultry farming, pisciculture and horticulture. The small and marginal farmers and landless agricultural workers, artisans and petty shopkeepers in rural areas are provided financial assistance through the regional rural banks in India. These regional rural banks operate under a commercial bank. Thus the commercial banks meet the credit requirements of all types of rural people. In India agricultural loans are kept in priority sector landing.

  1. Financing Consumer Activities:

People in underdeveloped countries being poor and having low incomes do not possess sufficient financial resources to buy durable consumer goods. The commercial banks advance loans to consumers for the purchase of such items as houses, scooters, fans, refrigerators, etc. In this way, they also help in raising the standard of living of the people in developing countries by providing loans for consumptive activities and also increase the demand in the economy.

  1. Financing Employment Generating Activities:

The commercial banks finance employment generating activities in developing countries. They provide loans for the education of young person’s studying in engineering, medical and other vocational institutes of higher learning. They advance loans to young entrepreneurs, medical and engineering graduates, and other technically trained persons in establishing their own business. Such loan facilities are being provided by a number of commercial banks in India. Thus the banks not only help inhuman capital formation but also in increasing entrepreneurial activities in developing countries.

  1. Help in Monetary Policy:

The commercial banks help the economic development of a country by faithfully following the monetary policy of the central bank. In fact, the central bank depends upon the commercial banks for the success of its policy of monetary management in keeping with requirements of a developing economy.

 

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