The Regulations Review Authority

More on the Regulations Review Authority, or RRA

Background

Regulations Review Authority
Dr YV Reddy

On 13 March 1999, the Reserve Bank of India decided to set up a Regulations Review Authority for one year. The objective was to make the Reserve Bank regulations effective and simple. The background to constituting the RRA, effective from 1 April 1999, was as given below: Continue reading “The Regulations Review Authority”

My corporate governance experience

Henry Martin on Corporate Governance
Henry Martin’s famous cartoon, “All Those in Favor Say ‘Aye'”

I initially thought of titling this Advice to a Young Director, in the manner of Advice to a Young Scientist by Sir Peter Medawar, the British-Brazilian biologist and writer of Lebanese origin, and Nobel Laureate in Medicine (1960). Writing of Medawar, “The wittiest of all scientific writers,” wrote Richard Dawkins, and “the cleverest man I have ever known,” wrote Stephen Jay Gould. Coming from Dawkins and Gould, there cannot be higher praise. Medawar’s short book, suggested by a Physics Professor at IIT Madras, stayed an inspiration through my research. It is highly recommended for researchers in any discipline including corporate governance. Continue reading “My corporate governance experience”

RBI Quiz 2021 – The Answers

Last week I had posted questions for the RBI Quiz 2021. The answers are provided below. I should add that most of these questions are curtain raisers to future and more elaborate posts on the subject. Stay tuned! Continue reading “RBI Quiz 2021 – The Answers”

Indian Cooperation: Finding Raiffeisens

That wretched woman with the infant in her arms, round whose meagre form the remnant of her own scanty shawl is carefully wrapped, has been attempting to sing some popular ballad, in the hope of wringing a few pence from the compassionate passer-by.

Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz

“Cooperation has failed, but cooperation must succeed,” is an oft-quoted extract from the 1954 report of the All India Rural Credit Survey Committee (AIRCSC). Sir Benegal Rama Rau, the fourth Governor, Reserve Bank of India, appointed the Committee.  No other financial sector was the subject of scrutiny by as many committees as Indian cooperation. The quote is believed to be the contribution of Burra Venkatappaiah, of the Indian Civil Service. Venkatappaiah was then the Reserve Bank of India’s first Executive Director, and a member of the AIRCSC. He later became Deputy Governor, and the fourth Chairman of the State Bank of India. Thereafter he chaired the All India Rural Credit Review Committee which reported in 1969. I have a separate post on Venkatappaiah coming up, but my focus here is on Indian cooperation. Continue reading “Indian Cooperation: Finding Raiffeisens”

Former SBI Chairman’s Arrest

The story of a former SBI Chairman’s arrest and release: the case of a resolution and retribution.

SBI Logo

Sometime in early 2004. I was the last in-charge of the Reserve Bank of India’s Chennai Office of the (then) Department of Banking Operations and Development, now called the Department of Regulation. The following July the Regional Offices merged with the Bank’s Department of Banking Supervision (now Department of Supervision). Late in the afternoon, a short and quiet person walked in unaccompanied. He had recently taken over as the Chief General Manager of the Chennai Circle of State Bank of India. Seven years later he became the Chairman of the bank. He needn’t have troubled himself to meet me. At least the Reserve Bank I knew and admired never stood by such empty formalities. Nevertheless, the simplicity and humility of the man impressed me. Therefore, the news of his arrest shocked everyone who knew him. Continue reading “Former SBI Chairman’s Arrest”

Sir Everard Hambro’s central bank proposal

Sir Everard Hambro
Sir Everard Hambro

In the history of Indian currency and central banking, the Fowler Committee occupies an important position. But, its relevance went beyond the currency question. One suggestion that emanated from its report was Sir Everard Hambro’s central bank proposal. Hambro suggested establishing a state bank along the lines of the Bank of England and the Bank of France. Hambro’s central bank proposal is contained in a brief note attached to the Fowler Report. It provided the rationale for the proposal. The suggestion went back and forth between Calcutta and London before it was dropped after objections from different quarters. Continue reading “Sir Everard Hambro’s central bank proposal”

For Whom the ATM Tolls? On Paying to Withdraw Our Money

The regulator has raised the ATM user charges. Once again. It follows a 2019 report of a Committee constituted by the Reserve Bank of India. The CEO of the Indian Banks Association (IBA) chaired the Committee and prepared the report. It had members from banking and industry stakeholders. Neither the regulator nor any depositor association was a member. Are these charges justified? Continue reading “For Whom the ATM Tolls? On Paying to Withdraw Our Money”

Hawick to Hawick: Life of James Wilson

Portrait of James Wilson

This post is a longer version of my article on James Wilson, the first Finance Member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, which was published in Business Standard dated 21 January 2021. Please see the link here. Wilson was also the Founder of The Economist, and the Standard Chartered Bank. He presented the first Indian budget in 1860, and introduced income tax in the country. He also laid the foundations for introducing government paper currency in India the Indian Police, and the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, among other things. Continue reading “Hawick to Hawick: Life of James Wilson”

Regulation and Supervision: A few lessons

Regulation and supervision are much more complex than meets the eye. This post attempts to draw a few regulatory and supervisory lessons. This is against the background of a recent book by a well-known economist and former Governor, Reserve Bank of India.

A missing portrait

If one were to write the history of the Reserve Bank of India today, the midpoint would be May 1977. This was when the new Janata Government forced the resignation of K.R. Puri, the 12th Governor. M. Narasimham, his successor, has in his memoirs detailed the events that led to the resignation. After another change of government, a vindictive Puri would come back, as a one man Commission. His report faulted the conduct of gold auctions under the venerable I.G. Patel, among the most brilliant Governors of the Bank. Continue reading “Regulation and Supervision: A few lessons”

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