Shaktikanta Das’ war-room takes extraordinary measures to fight Coronavirus threat

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MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India’s famed war-room, operational from March 19 as part of the Business Contingency Plan (BCP), made a series of quick decisions to protect the economy from the ripples caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This included reducing the repo rate by 75 basis points to 4.4%, and a moratorium of three months of EMIs on all outstanding loans.

Also, in an extraordinary measure to maintain social distancing, the media was briefed virtually by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, who maintained that keeping finance flowing is the paramount objective as the country’s financial activity is under severe stress.

The RBI has managed to stave off the the effects of the pandemic on its operations by running a war-room at a city facility manned by just around 90 critical staff.

The war-room also includes 60 key personnel from its 600-people strong workforce from its external vendors and around 70 facility staff.

Under the BCP, other data centres of the RBI run critical systems like the SFMS (Structured Financial Messaging System), RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) and NEFT (National Electronic Funds Transfer).

“This is the first of its kind BCP implementation by any central bank in the world and is also the first in our history because even during the World War II we did not have any such facility,” an official from the Reserve Bank earlier told PTI.

The most critical functions that the war-room handles are debt management, reserve management and monetary operations.

(With PTI inputs)

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