Good Evening. I took charge this afternoon as the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. These are not easy times, and the economy faces challenges. At the same time, India is a fundamentally sound economy with a bright future. Our task today is to build a bridge to the future, over the stormy waves produced by global financial markets. I have every confidence we will succeed in doing that. Today I want to articulate some first steps, concrete actions we will take, as well as some intentions to take actions based on plans we will formulate.
Before I turn to specifics, let me repeat what I said on the day I was appointed. The Reserve Bank is a great institution with a tradition of integrity, independence, and professionalism. I congratulate Dr. Subbarao on his leadership in guiding the Bank through very difficult times, and I look forward to working with the many dedicated employees of the RBI to further some of the important initiatives he started. I have been touched by the warmth with which the RBI staff have welcomed me.
To the existing traditions of the RBI, which will be the bedrock of our work, we will emphasise two other traditions that become important in these times: transparency and predictability. At a time when financial market are volatile, and there is some domestic political uncertainty because of impending elections, the Reserve Bank of India should be a beacon of stability as to its objectives. That is not to say we will never surprise markets with actions. A central bank should never say “Never”! But the public should have a clear framework as to where we are going, and understand how our policy actions fit into that framework. Key to all this is communication, and I want to underscore communication with this statement on my first day in office.
We will be making the first monetary policy statement of my term on September 20. I have postponed the originally set date a bit so that between now and then, I have enough time to consider all major developments in the required detail. I will leave a detailed explanation of our policy stance till then, but let me emphasize that the RBI takes its mandate from the