The upcoming RBI’s Monetary Policy Meeting: Just 20 minutes of media interaction?

It has been a tradition (not sure when it started) to have media interaction post monetary policy decision. Earlier, this was limited to Mumbai based media which was later expanded to others who could as questions over teleconferencing. It was interesting to see people from regional media ask questions. The idea was to reach out to as many as possible. Generally the time for such events have been around 45 mins to 1 hour .

But things have been changing recently. There has been some criticism/concern over RBI top management’s reluctance to interact with media post policy. It seems now only invitees are asked to attend the conference. The Economist  India head even raised over not being called for the conference second time around. Though, some commented it was nice to see likes of Doordarshan getting a chance to ask questions whereas earlier this was just dominated by either foreign press or Mumbai based financial media.

Later, there was an article reviewing 6 months of RBI’s New Governor titled as: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  It is so much of a turn around since the hype generated when the appointment was done.

It seems RBI wishes to continue its policy of limited communications. In the forthcoming policy on 6 Apr 2016, media interaction is just for 20 minutes:

The top management of the Reserve Bank of India will interact with the media in Mumbai after the announcement of the Resolution of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India under the First Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2017-18 on Thursday, April 06, 2017.

The interaction will be held from 2.45 pm to 3.05 pm. The media conference will also be live webcast on www.rbi.org.in. Media outside Mumbai can join the media interaction through teleconference.

In the previous regime, interactions lasted around 40-45 mins. In the new regime since Oct-2016, media interactions have been around 30 mins. Though, even in the Oct-2016 Policy, the discussion was around 20 minutes based on the length of the video. It will be interesting to do these comparisons across policy meets in the past. But RBI removes these press releases from its website as the event is over (atleast I could not find old press releases).

Given recent controversies around RBI-media interface, one could have been more liberal with these timings. 20 minutes is a very short time given nearly 10 minutes are taken by RBI officials to explain their policy stance. This is also going to be the first policy of the new financial year with multiple issues to be discussed.

Hopefully this is just a one-off event and there are longer such interactions.

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One Response to “The upcoming RBI’s Monetary Policy Meeting: Just 20 minutes of media interaction?”

  1. Sumi Says:

    Audio recordings are available for previous years See yearwise at this link https://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/Annualpolicy.aspx

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