1. Sharing note ban process details will affect India’s economic interests: RBI

Sharing note ban process details will affect India’s economic interests: RBI

Six months after the announcement of demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the RBI has declined to share details of the note ban process, saying it would be detrimental to the country's economic interests.

By: | New Delhi | Published: May 10, 2017 3:05 PM
Replying to an RTI query, the central bank said disclosing such details may impede future economic or fiscal policies of Government of India. (Reuters)

Six months after the announcement of demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the RBI has declined to share details of the note ban process, saying it would be detrimental to the country’s economic interests. Replying to an RTI query, the central bank said disclosing such details may impede future economic or fiscal policies of Government of India.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was asked to provide a copy of the minutes of the meetings held in its office during which the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was taken. It was also asked to share a copy of the correspondence made with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Finance Ministry on demonetisation issue.

“The information sought in the query carries sensitive background information including opinions, data, studies/ surveys etc. made prior to the completion of the process of withdrawal of legal tender character of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

“Disclosure of such information would detriment economic interest of the country from the viewpoint of the objectives sought to be achieved by such decision,” the RBI said in reply to the RTI application filed by a PTI correspondent.

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It is also likely to impede future economic or fiscal policies of Government of India, the central bank said. The disclosure of information, therefore, qualifies for exemption under section 8 (1) (a) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, it said.

The section bars sharing of information which would “prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the state, relation with foreign state or lead to incitement of an offence”.

The RBI also said no part of the record (sought by the applicant) can be provided as contemplated in section 10 of the transparency law. The section allows access to that part of the record which can reasonably be severed from any part that contains exempted information.

Modi had on November 8, 2016 announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as a step aimed at curbing black money.

  1. A
    Apte
    May 10, 2017 at 4:44 pm
    1. One does not know whether Reserve Bank of India’s decision of withholding details of demonetisation process is in public interest, though it is within its rights to do so. Incidentally, I have a few comments to make on impact of demonetisation on our economy. 2. After demonetisation, it appears, there is more money with public sector banks ( PSBs) and that has made it relatively easy for our leading PSBs to offer loans at lower rates, as compared to last year. As reported a few days ago, State Bank of India reduced its home loan rate and other banks too will follow SBI in this regard. 3. There was also another news report about fal rates of interest on banks; fixed deposits (FDs). I know that Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley is a strong supporter of low interest regime. Obviously demonetisation has come to his rescue, as PSBs have already reduced their lending rates. 4. Losers are senior citizens (non-pensioners) whose main source of income is interest on FDs.
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