Reserve Bank of India was established on 1st April, 1935 under RBI Act 1934 on the recommendations of John Hilton Young commission 1926 (Royal Commission on Indian Currency and Finance). RBI is Central Bank of our country and it is nationalised w.e.f. 1st January, 1949. Initially it was a shareholders’ bank later which was taken over by the Central Government under Reserve Bank (Transfer of Public Ownership) Act 1948 with a paid up capital of Rs 5 Cr. RBI’s Central Office is in Mumbai. Though originally privately owned, since nationalisation in 1949, the Reserve Bank is fully owned by the Government of India.
The Preamble of the Reserve Bank of India is
“…to regulate the issue of Bank Notes and 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.”
Monetary Authority: Formulates implements and monitors the monetary policy with the objective of maintaining price stability and ensuring adequate flow of credit to productive sectors.
Issuer of Currency: RBI is the sole agency/authority in India to issue bank notes Bank Note means Rs.2 and above. (One rupee note and all coins will be issued by Central Government. One rupee note will be signed by Finance Secretary) Coins will be minted at four stations i.e. Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Noida.
Banker to the Government: performs merchant banking function for the central and the state governments; also acts as their banker.
Banker to Banks: Maintains banking accounts of all scheduled banks. Controls the banks and acts as a lender of last resort by providing financial assistance in various ways
Regulator and Supervisor of the Financial System: Prescribes broad parameters of banking operations within which the country’s banking and financial system functions with the objective of maintain public confidence in the system, protect depositors’ interest and provide cost-effective banking services to the public.
Manager of Foreign Exchange: Manages the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 with the objective of to facilitate external trade and payment and promote orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India.
RBI has 19 regional offices in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, and Thiruvananthapuram. It also has 9 Sub-offices in Agartala, Dehradun, Gangtok, Kochi, Panaji, Raipur, Ranchi, Shillong, Shimla and Srinagar. The Fully owned two subsidiaries of RBI are Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (DICGC), Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL).