Along with the routine traditional functions, central banks especially in the developing country like India have to perform numerous functions. These functions are country specific functions and can change according to the requirements of that country. Some of the major development functions of the RBI are given below.
Development of the Financial System
The financial system comprises the financial institutions, financial markets and financial instruments. The sound and efficient financial system is a precondition of the rapid economic development of the nation. The RBI has encouraged establishment of main banking and non-banking institutions to cater to the credit requirements of diverse sectors of the economy.
Development of Agriculture
In an agrarian economy like ours, the RBI has to provide special attention for the credit need of agriculture and allied activities. It has successfully rendered service in this direction by increasing the flow of credit to this sector. It has earlier the Agriculture Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC) to look after the credit, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).
Provision of Industrial Finance
Rapid industrial growth is the key to faster economic development. In this regard, the adequate and timely availability of credit to small, medium and large industry is very significant. In this regard the RBI has always been instrumental in setting up special financial institutions such as ICICI Ltd. IDBI, SIDBI and EXIM BANK etc.
Provisions of Training
The RBI has always tried to provide essential training to the staff of the banking industry. The RBI has set up the bankers' training colleges at several places. National Institute of Bank Management i.e NIBM, Bankers Staff College i.e BSC and College of Agriculture Banking i.e CAB are few to mention.
Collection of Data
Being the apex monetary authority of the country, the RBI collects process and disseminates statistical data on several topics. It includes interest rate, inflation, savings and investments etc. This data proves to be quite useful for researchers and policy makers.
Publication of the Reports
The Reserve Bank has its separate publication division. This division collects and publishes data on several sectors of the economy. The reports and bulletins are regularly published by the RBI. It includes RBI weekly reports, RBI Annual Report, Report on Trend and Progress of Commercial Banks India., etc. This information is made available to the public also at cheaper rates.
Promotion of Banking Habits
As an apex organization, the RBI always tries to promote the banking habits in the country. It institutionalizes savings and takes measures for an expansion of the banking network. It has set up many institutions such as the Deposit Insurance Corporation-1962, UTI-1964, IDBI-1964, NABARD- 1982, NHB-1988, etc. These organizations develop and promote banking habits among the people. During economic reforms it has taken many initiatives for encouraging and promoting banking in India.
Promotion of Export through Refinance
The RBI always tries to encourage the facilities for providing finance for foreign trade especially exports from India. The Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank India) and the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) are supported by refinancing their lending for export purpose.