Bringing their differences into open, outgoing Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D Subbarao on Thursday, in his last speech, took a dig at Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for his old comment that he would "walk alone" to ensure economic growth in the face of tight monetary policy of the central bank.
A week before he demits office, Subbarao referred to a lot of media coverage on policy differences between the government and the Reserve Bank and the issue of autonomy and accountability.
"Gerard Schroeder, the former German Chancellor, once said, 'I am often frustrated by the Bundesbank. But thank God, it exists.'
"I do hope Finance Minister Chidambaram will one day say, 'I am often frustrated by the Reserve Bank, so frustrated that I want to go for a walk, even if I have to walk alone. But thank God, the Reserve Bank exists'," Subbarao said in his last public lecture as RBI Governor.
He was obviously referring to a statement of Chidambaram in October last year that "if the government has to walk alone to face the challenge of growth then, 'we will walk alone'."
Chidambaram was then upset over RBI's decision to keep the interest rates high despite government unveiling a five-year fiscal consolidation road map.