Mumbai: The government may need to amend the Reserve Bank of India Act of 1934 and also bring a special law vis-a-vis setting up of the Public Credit Registry (PCR) to revolutionise the credit sector, an RBI official said on Monday.
RBI Deputy Governor Viral V. Acharya said that the PCR is being set up within the existing RBI infrastructure and the government may have to amend the Act if rules made thereof made things difficult for the central bank.
“Otherwise, the Reserve Bank of India Act can be suitably amended to confer on the bank the powers to conduct the PCR business,” Acharya said at the Annual Global Banking Conference organised by FICCI and Indian Banks Association.
“Such specific conferment of power, with clear enumeration of the PCR functions, will remove the limitations of incidental powers…,” he said.
Speaking on how PCR and Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) can democratise and formalise credit in India, he said that the credit-to-GDP ratio in India stands at a modest 55.7 per cent compared with China’s 208.7 per cent and the UK’s 170.5 per cent.
“Now, the PCR can aggregate the information of a borrower by using the core credit information repository and information lying in a set of sub-systems spread across multiple agencies (like GSTN) to aggregate the information of a borrower,” Acharya said.
Further, he said, as the PCR will have to get information from different sources and as the confidentiality provisions in many enactments will directly or indirectly bar sharing of information, including credit information, a special overriding law may be needed.
“… it is desirable to have a special comprehensive legislation, overriding the prohibitions contained in all other legislations on sharing of information required for the PCR. Otherwise, all such legislations will have to be amended separately, providing an exemption on the sharing of information with PCR,” the Deputy Governor said.
Acharya said that an Implementation Task Force has now taken over the job of steering the project conceptualised in 2017. Once the infrastructure is in place, it will be feasible to serve a large number of customers at a much lower transaction size.
“Just like in the Fast-moving Consumer Goods sector, banking and access to credit too will be ‘sachetized’… we want that even a small tea-shop owner should be able to take a 500-rupee loan at fair rates, say for only a week, based on such data.”