Reserve Bank of India Governor will appear before a parliamentary panel for a second briefing on demonetisation on June 8. The meeting was earlier scheduled to take place on May 25 but Patel had sought exemption citing engagements, according to Indian Express report. It has been learned that work on framing the monetary policy would be underway at that time. The Department Related Parliamentary Committee on Finance had questioned Patel on the move to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes on January 18 this year.
According to reports, Patel has written a letter to senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily, who heads the panel, seeking exemption as he would hold an RBI meeting on June 6 and 7 on the Monetary Policy Statement for 2017-18. The panel had reportedly allowed him to appear at the later date, a PTI report says.
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The June 8 meeting is likely to witness some tough questions being put to the RBI Governor by the Opposition. In the January meeting, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had rescued Patel from a tough grilling. Singh had said that the central bank and the governor’s position as an institution should be respected.
However, on April 20, Singh had insisted that Patel should be called before the panel to tell how much money had come back to banks in deposits after the demonetisation decision. Singh also sought Patel’s statement on the RBI’s preparedness for the digital money push of the government, the IE report says.
The May 25 meet will go as per schedule as all secretaries from Finance Ministry will be present to update the panel about digital economy, a report says.
In January, the panel had summoned top finance ministry and RBI officials to discuss the demonetisation process and its impact. As the members could not complete their questions, the committee had decided to call the RBI governor and ministry officials again on a later date, after the Budget session, a report says.
BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who is a member of the panel, had questioned the panel’s rationale of calling Patel again. Dubey has suggested to the chairman that it should now deliberate on digital economy, as “demonetisation was not an issue any more”.