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techkenyot.com March 20, 2019


"Stand Up To PM, Protect Nation": Rahul Gandhi's Message To Urjit Patel

07 November 2018, 03:39 | Hattie Nash

"Stand Up To PM, Protect Nation": Rahul Gandhi's Message To Urjit Patel

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Sources have confirmed to The Indian Express that the RBI views this attempt by the government to dip into its reserves can adversely impact macro-economic stability. Both RBI and the government have been entangled in a power struggle of sorts with many media reports suggesting that RBI Governor Urjit Patel may soon resign from his post.

According to the sources, the government would continue to press the RBI to relax norms to boost lending and transfer at least a third of its Rs 9.6 lakh crore reserve. "If he wants to take decisions unilaterally, it will be better for him to quit".

This was followed by three letters to the RBI from the Finance Ministry which threatened to invoke Section 7 of the RBI Act, reported The Times Of India. The RBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The rift worsened late last month when one of the bank's deputy governors said in a speech that undermining central bank independence could be "potentially catastrophic".

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The ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party is also keen to reduce curbs on the shadow banking sector and increase overall lending to small and medium-sized businesses.

He said, "The role of the central bank is to be the wise counsel, like Dravid, not to make operational decisions and certainly not be loud like Navjot Sidhu".

Sources had said that the RBI's board meeting on November 19 was pre-scheduled and routine. "This kind of situation has never arisen before".

He also noted in his address to top industrialists that the Argentine government's meddling in its central bank's affairs in 2010 led to a market revolt and a surge in bond yields.

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Earlier, Moneylife had reported that as the government and central bank are engaged in a power tussle, there is a chance that Patel could step down.

"The RBI is something like a seatbelt", Rajan, who is a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, told CNBC-TV18.

"The RBI is something like a seat belt, the driver being the government. there could be a possibility of not putting on a seat belt".

The Finance Ministry's proposal was at the heart of the standoff between the RBI and the government.

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"While the government is looking for short-term solutions, the RBI is focused on long term solutions", he said, adding that despite disagreements, both could resolve their differences. Previous governors too had occasionally pointed out the government's overreach, when it came to the functionality of RBI.



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