Opposition parties criticised the Centre on Saturday after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) employees wrote a letter to its governor Urjit Patel, protesting against operational “mismanagement” in the exercise and the Centre impinging its autonomy by appointing an official for currency coordination.
Condemning the demonetisation drive, the opposition parties said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government have destroyed the credibility of the autonomous body that controls the country’s monetary policy.
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“I don’t think ever before, the employees of a government institution especially an independent and respectable institution like RBI have written against its national policy. Very clearly RBI has compromised to an extent never seen before. Prime Minister Modi and his government have destroyed RBI, its credibility and the role of an institution,” Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit told ANI.
He said the way in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is compromising and corrupting the RBI, it is going to be a dangerous signal for the nation.
JD (U) leader Pawan Varma said, “The RBI must retain its autonomy to advice and formulate or recommend policy to the government. It appears in the case of demonetisation that the RBI relinquished its autonomy in order to blindly toe the line as dictated to it by the government.”
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In a letter, RBI employees said the autonomy and image of RBI has been “dented beyond repair” due to mismanagement and termed appointment of a senior finance ministry official as a “blatant encroachment” of its exclusive turf of currency management.
At least two of the four signatories – Samir Ghosh of All India Reserve Bank Employees Association and Suryakant Mahadik of All India Reserve Bank Workers Federation – confirmed the letter. The other signatories are CM Paulsil of All India Reserve Bank Officers Association and R N Vatsa of RBI Officers Association.
The letter comes days after concerns being raised about RBI’s functioning by at least three former governors – Manmohan Singh (also the former prime minister), Y V Reddy and Bimal Jalan. Former deputy governors, including Usha Thorat and KC Chakrabarty, have also voiced their concerns.