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RBI won't reveal demonetisation info, cites law on security, economic interests

The Reserve Bank of India has refused to share details of its recommendations to the government to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes.

The central bank, which puts out the transcript of its monetary policy meeting, told RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak that documents pertaining to the demonetisation decision were exempt under section 8 (1) (a) of the information law.

This clause allows government bodies to hold back information that can jeopardise the country’s sovereignty, security, and strategic or economic interests.

There was no explanation why the recommendation attracted this exemption. HT wrote on Friday that the decision to scrap high-value notes was cleared by the bank’s board hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision on national television on November 8.

The currency recall led to a severe cash crunch, forcing millions line up at banks and ATM kiosks for at least a month after the surprise move.

The Opposition’s protests over demonetisation washed out the winter session of Parliament.

The RBI’s refusal is in line with a government official’s insistence that there was no need to go into the process of decision-making regarding the currency cull.

Source: HindustanTimes