An autonomous research institute under the Ministry of Finance


How much equity capital should a central bank hold?

Publication date

Apr, 2019


NIPFP Working Paper No. 262


Ila Patnaik and Radhika Pandey


The mechanism to calculate how much reserves the RBI transfers to the Central Government has been at the forefront of debate amongst experts and policy makers. The present legal framework allows the RBI to choose what proportion of reserves it transfers to the Government. As a consequence, it has built up reserves that are higher than most other central banks hold. This paper presents the logic for why central banks might hold reserves. Drawing on cross country practices, it presents a discussion of the possible arrangements for transfer of reserves to the Government. Any institutional arrangement to determine a framework for reserves transfer must consider these options.
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