India’s apex bank: The Reserve Bank of India(RBI), it’s objectives and functions

By Kuch Khaas Hai Tuesday, February 15, 2011 0 comments
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the apex financial institution of the country’s financial system entrusted with the task of control, supervision, promotion, development and planning. RBI is the queen bee of the Indian financial system which influences the commercial banks’ management in more than one way. The RBI influences the management of commercial banks through its various policies, directions and regulations. Its role in bank management is quite unique. In fact, the RBI performs the four basic functions of management, viz., planning, organising, directing and controlling in laying a strong foundation for the functioning of commercial banks.
Objectives of the Reserve Bank of India
The Preamble to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 spells out the objectives of the Reserve Bank as: “to regulate the issue of Bank notes and the keeping of reserves with a view to securing monetary stability in India and generally to operate the currency and credit system of the country to its advantage.”
Prior to the establishment of the Reserve Bank, the Indian financial system was totally inadequate on account of the inherent weakness of the dual control of currency by the Central Government and of credit by the Imperial Bank of India.
The Hilton-Young Commission, therefore, recommended that the dichotomy of functions and division of responsibility for control of currency and credit and the divergent policies in this respect must be ended by setting-up of a central bank – called the Reserve Bank of India – which would regulate the financial policy and develop banking facilities throughout the country. Hence, the Bank was established with this primary object in view.
Another objective of the Reserve Bank has been to remain free from political influence and be in successful operation for maintaining financial stability and credit. The fundamental object of the Reserve Bank of India is to discharge purely central banking functions in the Indian money market, i.e., to act as the note- issuing authority, bankers’ bank and banker to government, and to promote the growth of the economy within the framework of the general economic policy of the Government, consistent with the need of maintenance of price stability.
A significant object of the Reserve -Bank of India has also been to assist the planned process of development of the Indian economy. Besides the traditional central banking functions, with the launching of the five-year plans in the country, the Reserve Bank of India has been moving ahead in performing a host of developmental and promotional functions, which are normally beyond the purview of a traditional Central Bank.
Functions of the Reserve Bank of India
The Reserve Bank of India performs all the typical functions of a good Central Bank. In addition, it carries out a variety of developmental and promotional functions attuned to the course of economic planning in the country:
  • Issuing currency notes, Le., to act as a currency authority.
  • Serving as banker to the Government.
  • Acting as bankers’ bank and supervisor.
  • Monetary regulation and management.
  • Exchange management and control.
  • Collection of data and their publication.
  • Miscellaneous developmental and promotional functions and activities.
  • Agricultural Finance.
  • Industrial Finance
  • Export Finance.
  • Institutional promotion.


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