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Urjit Patel may resign as Jaitley’s remarks widen RBI-govt rift

31 October, 2018, 11:58 | Author: Sara Gill
  • Open rift between RBI Modi govt as official warns of catastrophe

For the goal, extensive consultations on several issues take place between the government and the RBI from time to time.

"The autonomy for the Central Bank, within the framework of the RBI Act, is an essential and accepted governance requirement".

Earlier, pitching for "effective independence", RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya on Friday said governments that do not respect central bank's independence would sooner or later incur the wrath of financial markets.

"The Central Government may from time to time give such directions to the Bank as it may, after consultation with the Governor of the Bank, consider necessary in the public interest", Section 7 (1) of the RBI Act reads.

"It is hard to believe that the RBI governor will resign because it is unprecedented and would look quite irresponsible and (an) immature step", said a senior trader at a foreign bank. While the Economic Affairs Secretary declined to comment on whether Section 7 had been invoked, the official statement also made no mention of it.

The letter, according to Firstpost, wanted RBI to carve out exemption for power companies under 12 February circular.

This section, never invoked by any government so far despite phases of tension with the central bank, allows it to instruct the RBI to take specific action. Second letter was on using RBI's capital reserves and the third letter was on relaxing constraints on PCA banks for loans to SMEs.


BJP slammed Rahul Gandhi for his criticism against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the RBI-Centre rift, and said that it reflects Congress party's grounding, "which is fast eroding in national politics".

Voicing support for Patel, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said if the governor decides to leave, the blame would fall on Jaitley.

Government officials believe that RBI Governor Urjit Patel has some responsibility for the controversy, and he can not expect an extension of his current three-year term - which ends next September - "as his right", one of the officials added.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley blamed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday for failing to stop a lending spree between 2008-2014 that left banks with huge bad debts, inflaming a row that recently erupted between the government and the central bank.

In a press statement, All India Reserve Bank's Employees Association (AIRBEA) said that "undermining the country's central bank is a recipe for disaster and the government must desist".

This did not go down well with the Centre, who said that they were 'upset' that the RBI publicly spoke about the rift.

The currency fell as much as 0.5 percent to 74.0575 per dollar on Wednesday, after the Economic Times reported that the government invoked a rarely-used power to direct the central bank on matters of public interest.

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