RBI opposes proposal to set up separate payments regulator
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has opposed a move to establish a separate entity to regulate payments and settlements as recommended by Ratan Watal Committee for Digital Payments.
The 11-member committee was notified in September 2016 by the Union Finance Ministry to review existing payment systems in country and recommend appropriate measures for encouraging Digital Payments.
What is the issue?
One of the committee’s terms of reference was to study and recommend changes in the regulatory mechanism under various acts such as the RBI Act, Payments and Settlement Act, and the Information Technology Act among others. Based on it, the committee had recommended making regulation of retail payments independent from the function of RBI to give digital payments boost. It had called for establishing separate Payments Regulatory Board (PRB) as an independent body for retail payments and suggested that RBI’s regulation must be kept only for SIPS (systemically important payment system).
What RBI says?
According to the global practice both the SIPS and retail payment systems are under the central bank for a variety of reasons including issues of inter-connectivity between the systems and the role of the central bank as the lender of last resort (LOLR). RBI has mooted a monetary-policy-committee-style structure for the PRB, where outcomes are decided independently, but implementation remains with the banking regulator.