RBI pre-empts RTI by releasing minutes of October board meet

On 11 October to public, RBI disclosed the minutes of its central board meeting, as part of its intent to lift the veil of secrecy shrouding its operations. This was the first time when RBI has shown the proceedings of its central board to the public, even though key portions remain redacted.

The minutes of the 579th meeting, released as part of RBI’s transparency initiative, show the central board deliberated on the state of the financial sector along with the supervision of entities, both banks and non-banks. Till now RBI has just shared the Minutes of the board meeting as per Right to Information (RTI) Act.

“The board discussed in detail the current state of the financial sector with special focus on the regulatory and supervisory architecture of commercial and cooperative banks as also non-banking financial companies (NBFCs),” the minutes said.

In reply to queries from some directors, The process of supervision of banks and other financial entities regulated and supervised by RBI was discussed at the meeting.

The central board, the document said, also discussed the specific case of the failed Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank Ltd (PMC Bank).

“It was informed that RBI has taken/initiated several measures to strengthen supervision and regulation of these entities. It was also informed that the formation of a separate department of regulation and supervision, that was approved by the Central Board in its meeting on 21 May 2019,” it said.

In last few months, RBI has been seen strengthening the oversight of cooperative banks following last year’s PMC crisis. On 5 December, the central bank had announced a slew of measures related to urban cooperative banks (UCBs), including exposure norms, a credit repository and cybersecurity norms. The Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) database is used by banks and other financial institutions to share, among themselves and with RBI, the classification status of borrowers.