Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the coronavirus pandemic is the worst economic and health crisis in the last 100 years. Speaking at the 7th SBI Banking & Economics Conclave on Saturday, Das said the pandemic dented the existing world order. "COVID-19 is the worst health and economic crisis in the last 100 years with unprecedented negative consequences for output, jobs and well being. It dented the existing world order, global value chains, labour and capital movements across the globe. The pandemic perhaps represents so far the biggest test of robustness and resilience of our economic and financial system," he said.
Das said that from February 2019 onward RBI had cut 135 basis points repo rate till the onset of coronavirus. "That was done mainly to tackle the slowdown in growth which was visible at that time and we had elaborately touched upon it in our MPC Resolutions," he said. The RBI Governor said, "The lagged impact of these measures was about to propel a cyclical turnaround in economic activity when COVID-19 brought with it calamities, miseries, endangering of lives and livelihood of people."
The Governor said that the topmost priority for the RBI is growth and financial stability. "The RBI has taken several measures to protect our financial system, and support the economy in the current crisis. The Indian economy has started showing signs of going back to normalcy after the easing of restrictions... Building buffers and raising capital is crucial to ensure credit flows and build resilience in the financial system," he added.
Governor Das also spoke about the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank crisis and said that the RBI is working with the stakeholders of the PMC Bank.