Functions of Reserve Bank of India
The functions of the Reserve Bank of India can be divided into various heads discussed as below:
RBI as Monetary Authority of India
RBI works as the monetary authority of India and there by operates the monetary policy. Monetary policy refers to an umbrella of operations used for the control of money supply in the economy with broad objective to maintain economic and financial stability; and ensure adequate financial resources for the purpose of development. More about this can be read here
RBI as Issuer of Currency
As per the provisions of the Section 22 of the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934, Reserve Bank of India has the sole right to issue Bank notes of all denominations. Read in detail here.
RBI as Banker and Debt Manager to the Government
Central Government entrusts the Reserve Bank with all its money, remittance, exchange and banking transactions in India and the management of its public debt. The Government also deposits its cash balances with the Reserve Bank. Read in detail here.
Ways and Means Advances
Further, whenever there is a temporary mismatch in the cash flow of the receipts and payments of the State Governments, RBI provides them Ways and Means Advances (WMA). RBI helps both the central government and state governments to manage their public debt, float new loans, issue and retirement of rupee loans, interest payment on the loan and operational matters about debt certificates and their registration. RBI’s debt management policy aims at minimizing the cost of borrowing, reducing the roll-over risk, smoothening the maturity structure of debt, and improving depth and liquidity of Government securities markets by developing an active secondary market.
RBI as Banker of Banks
RBI is bank of all banks in India. The other banks keep their current accounts with RBI and RBI helps them in maintaining statutory reserves with itself. RBI also enables the environment for swift and smooth inter-bank transactions. Read more here
RBI as a regulator and supervisor of financial system
One of the most important functions of RBI is to work as regulator and supervisor of financial system. RBI not only regulates and supervises the Indian Banks (details here) but also Foreign Banks (detail here), Regional Rural Banks, Local Area Banks, Cooperative Banks, Financial Institutions including Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) and Non-Banking Financial Companies.
Management of foreign exchange reserves
RBI manages the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 to facilitate external trade and payment and promote orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India. Details here
Developmental & Promotional roles
Apart from the above, RBI performs a wide range of promotional functions to support national objectives.