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RBI Guv expresses optimism about COVID situation following roll-out of vaccines

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RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das expressed optimism about the overall COVID-19 situation following the rollout of the vaccines and complimented all the SAARC central banks for their efforts in combating the pandemic, the central bank said in a statement on Tuesday. Das made these remarks in his opening speech at the 41st Meeting of the SAARCFINANCE Governors’ Group in virtual format on Monday. Das chaired the meeting.

Das led the discussions on progress made under the SAARCFINANCE initiatives, achieved with the all-round cooperation of the SAARC central banks and launched the maiden issue of the annual SAARCFINANCE e-Newsletter.

While the Governors agreed that the pandemic had an adverse impact on their economies, they recognized the importance of leveraging technology to spur growth, the RBI said.

The meeting was attended by the Governors from other SAARC central banks – Ajmal Ahmadi, Da Afghanistan Bank; Fazle Kabir, Bangladesh Bank; Dasho Penjore, Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan; Ali Hashim, Maldives Monetary Authority; Maha Prasad Adhikari, Nepal Rastra Bank; Reza Baqir, State Bank of Pakistan; and W D Lakshman, Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

With the RBI’s tenure coming to a close, Governor Das handed over the SAARCFINANCE Chair (effective from April 01, 2021) to the Governor, Maldives Monetary Authority and assured him of the Reserve Bank’s continued commitment to the SAARCFINANCE initiative.

SAARCFINANCE is a network of central bank governors and finance secretaries of the SAARC region. The Reserve Bank of India is the present chair of the SAARCFINANCE from October 2019 to March 2021.

While inaugurating the SAARCFINANCE Governors’ Symposium on Tuesday, Das emphasised the importance of effective, creative and prudent use of technology by central bankers, especially in the areas of big data, digital currencies, reg-tech, sup-tech and cyber security.

The keynote address was delivered by Jermy Prenio, Senior Adviser, Financial Stability Institute, BIS on the topic ‘Suptech use in central banks’.

The Symposium also included a Panel Discussion on ‘Cyber Security in Central Banks’ and a presentation by the researchers of the SAARCFINANCE Collaborative Study on ‘Comparison of Financial Sector Regulatory Regimes in the SAARC Region’, the RBI’s release added.



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