Release Calendar of Communication
The Reserve Bank of India endeavours to be among the most transparent central banks in the world. This objective derives from the information and data presented by the Reserve Bank in its annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and occasional publications. It is also a subscriber to the Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS) defined by the International Monetary Fund (URL: www.imf.org ) for publishing data.
It communicates with various target audiences at various intervals. Some communications are at regular intervals and some other communications are need-based.
(i) Annual Policy Statement
The Governors' Annual Policy Statement is the most important document that is released in April every year. The Statement comprises monetary policy and developmental and regulatory policies. These are covered in two distinct sections in the Annual Policy Statement and its Mid-term Review. The First Quarter and the Third Quarter Reviews cover a review of macro economic and monetary developments along with monetary policy measures.
(ii) Annual Report
The Annual Report of the Reserve Bank is the most important statutory publication released by the end of August every year. It is the statement of the Board of Directors on the state of the economy, and on the balance sheet of the Reserve Bank. It also presents an assessment of the Indian economy and its prospects in the period ahead.
(iii) Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India
This is also a statutory publication produced by the Reserve Bank. Released annually, this document reviews the policies for and performance of the financial sector. The publication covers the data from April to March and is generally released around November/December every year.
(iv) Report on Currency and Finance
A favourite with researchers, this annual document is prepared by the staff of the Reserve Bank. Since 1998-99 the Report dwells on a particular theme and presents a detailed economic analysis of the issues related to that theme. the theme normally relates to operations of the Reserve Bank. The focus of the Report is on policy approach oriented research, issues and challenges relevant to India. These areas analysed against the current theoretical understandings and the cross-country empirical evidence. The publication is released around December and also serves the purpose of presenting a mid-year review of the economy.
(v) Handbook of Statistics on the Indian Economy:
Earlier released as part II of the Report on Currency and Finance, this publication was carved out in 1998-99 as a separate publication indicating a major thrust by the Reserve Bank to improve data dissemination by providing a useful storehouse of statistical information at one place. The publication provides time-series data (annual/quarterly/monthly/fortnightly/daily) pertaining to a broad spectrum of economic variables pertaining to data on national income, output and prices, money and banking, financial markets, public finance, trade and balance of payments, currency and coinage and socio economic indicators.
(vi) State Finances: A Study of Budgets:
A thematically dedicated release, this publication provides a comprehensive analytical assessment of the finances of the State Governments. Consolidated data of all State Governments are analysed in addition to State-wise analysis to draw policy implications.
(vii) Statistical Tables relating to Banks in India
This annual publication contains comprehensive data relating to the commercial banking sector. It covers balance sheet information as well as performance indicators of each commercial bank in India including those registered abroad. The data are presented bank group-wise and state-wise.
(viii) Basic Statistical Returns
Yet another data-oriented publication, this annual presents comprehensive data on number of offices, employees, deposits and credit as per occupation of scheduled commercial banks. In this publication, data on region-wise, state-wise and district-wise information are made available to the general public.
The Reserve Bank of India has instituted three public annual lecture series. Two of these are in honour of past Governors of the Reserve Bank namely C.D. Deshmukh and L.K. Jha and the third in honour of a noted monetary economist namely P.R. Brahmananda. The lectures are delivered by internationally acclaimed economists and central bankers. There is no fixed schedule for these lectures.
Every six months, the Reserve Bank publishes data on external debt. While the Reserve Bank compiles and releases India's external debt statistics for the quarters ending March and June, the data for the quarters ending September and December are compiled and released by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. A detailed account of the external debt in rupee and US dollar terms, is released on the last working day of June and September.
RBI Occasional Papers
This is published once in four months and carries research papers presented by the professional staff of the Reserve Bank. The publication reflects the views of the authors. The RBI Occasional Papers is published thrice a year from 1999 onwards.
(i) Macroeconomic and Monetary Developments:
Issued along with the Annual Policy Statement and its Mid-term and Quarterly Reviews, this publication provides an analytical overview of macroeconomic and monetary developments during the period under review with the help of charts and tables. The publication serves as a backdrop and provides rationale for the stance of the monetary policy for the period under review.
(ii) Data on External Sector
On the last day of every quarter (on the previous day if the last day happens to be a holiday or a Sunday), the Reserve Bank publishes data on external sector, including balance of payments and accretion to foreign exchange reserves.
Balance of Payments
The major items of the Balance of Payments data comprise of exports, imports, trade balance, net invisibles, current account balance, capital account, and change in reserves. The data are published at the end of every quarter in rupee and US dollar terms.
Accretion to Foreign Exchange Reserves
The Reserve Bank had in 2003, conducted a study on ‘Accretion to Foreign Exchange Reserves in India: Sources, Arbitrage and Costs’ to analyse certain aspects, such as, (i) What are the sources of accretion to reserves? (ii) Are they on account of underlying arbitrage opportunities? (iii) What is the cost of these reserves? Subsequent to this, the Reserve Bank has been regularly updating and releasing every quarter the information on ‘Sources of Accretion to Foreign Exchange Reserves’.
International Investment Position
The International Investment Position, compiled at the end of a specific period such as end-March, is the statement of the stock of external financial assets and liabilities of a country. The financial assets consist of the country's financial claims on non-residents and financial liabilities consist of the country's financial liabilities to non-residents. These transactions are classified according to institutional resident sectors, namely, monetary authority, government, banks, and other sectors including corporate sector. The net international investment position (the stock of external financial assets less the stock of external financial liabilities) shows the difference between what an economy owns in relation to what it owes.
India’s International Investment Position (IIP) statistics are published at regular intervals. Preliminary data are released with a lag of two quarters from the reference date, i.e., data for the end-March 2007 are released by end-September 2007. Preliminary data are subject to some revisions during the year and partially reviseddata are released with a lag of 18 months, from the reference date. The data are ‘frozen’ thereafter and final revisions are incorporated in the partially revised data. Thus, the revised dataare released with a lag of 30 months from the reference date.
Quarterly Handout on Banking Statistics
This data-oriented publication gives data on deposits and credit of scheduled commercial banks for each quarter. The data compiled from bank returns are presented center-wise, state-wise, population group-wise and bank group-wise. The quarterly handout is available for the quarters ending March, June, September and December.
This is a monthly publication released in the first week of every month. The Bulletin publishes analytical articles based on data collected by the Reserve Bank often specifically for the purpose. It carries speeches by the Governor, Deputy Governors and Executive Directors. The speeches are useful information included in the Bulletin relating in improving the understanding of the central bank's policies. Other useful inclusions in the Bulletin are important press releases and circulars issued by different departments of the Reserve Bank and data relating to economy, finance and banking. Often, significant reports released by the Reserve Bank, including the Annual Report and the Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India are issued as supplements to this monthly publication.
Monetary and Credit Information Review
This is a monthly four-page periodical targetted at operational level bankers. The periodical summarises important circulars issued by the central bank during the month. It is published between 1st and 5th of every month.
Weekly Statistical Supplement to the RBI Bulletin
Anxiously awaited by the market, this weekly presents the weekly balance sheet of the Reserve Bank and other developments relating to financial, commodity and bullion markets. This is published on every Friday at 5 pm.
The Reserve Bank issues a number of press releases relating to operations of its monetary policy that are released on a real-time basis through wire agencies and its web-site. At 9 am, it releases a press release on Money Market Operations of the previous day which gives a picture of liquidity in the system to market participants. The results of the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) operations of the day are posted on the website by 12.30 PM of the same day. The reference exchange rates are placed on the website by 12.45 PM on every working day.
All the regulatory and administrative circulars of different departments are placed on the website within an hour of their finalisation. Reports of committees and working groups set up by the Reserve Bank are also placed on the website. Apart from these, the Reserve Bank publishes occasional subject specific monographs and studies. Speeches by the Governor, Deputy Governors and at times Executive Directors which explain the rationale of policies are also released on the website and subsequently published in the RBI Bulletin.
These research studies are a collaborative effort between external experts in India and the staff members of the Reserve Bank. The Studies are conducted on subjects of current interest.
The Reserve Bank also publishes reports of committees/working groups set up by it to study specific areas/subjects/regulations.
The Reserve Bank brings out booklets to familiarise the general public about the facilities available to them as bank customers. These relate mainly to banking regulations, notes and coins, government securities, including savings bonds, foreign exchange. It has recently brought out comic books to explain banking and central banking functions to children.
Occasionally, it also issues advertisements in print and electronic media to educate the common person on issues such as security features of currency notes, how to handle them, care to be taken while investing in non-banking finance companies cautioning them against sending remittances towards lottery wings, customer friendly features of government securities, etc.
IX. Database on Indian Economy: RBI's Data Warehouse
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been, historically, generating and compiling a large volume of data on various aspects of the economy. It has a rich tradition of publishing these data in several of its publications. With time, the scope of data released by the Reserve Bank has enlarged and the manner in which the data were released has changed; from print version to electronic and now through the interactive database across the Internet.
Originally set up for its internal use in December 2002, the Reserve Bank made the publishable part of the data warehouse accessible to researches, analysts and others outside the RBI over the internet through its website (www.rbi.org.in) with a link called Database on Indian Economy: RBI's Data Warehouse.
The data warehouse allows access to data through reports which are pre-formatted and allows users to choose the time period. For special or ad hoc requirements, users can go to query facilities which allow users to create new reports as per their selection of variables and time period. All these reports could be downloaded in Excel/CSV/PDF file format.
The Reserve Bank maintains an active website (URL: http://www.rbi.org.in). All the information released by the Reserve Bank is also simultaneously made available on the website in pdf form. The data are provided in excel format. The site is updated several times a day.
The Reserve Bank has a sub-site each for the common person and for financial education. The common person's site publishes information that a bank customer can use, such as, RBI regulations for banks, foreign exchange and currency issues, lending rates, service charges, courier and postal charges, bank branches offering RTGS, NEFT, EFT facilities, etc.
The financial education site is aimed at promoting financial literacy among the common person who could be bank customer or a non-customer, children, senior citizen, defence personnel, small industry or a user of foreign exchange. Both the sites are available in 13 languages including Hindi and English and are regularly updated.
July 8, 2008