On the same page: No dissent in final Bimal Jalan report on RBI transfer

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Published: August 28, 2019 3:13:43 AM

A source said Garg’s dissenting views were not, however, completely withdrawn and they were accommodated in various chapters of the report.

The report, endorsed by the RBI board on Monday, suggested realised equity reserves of 6.5-5.5% of the RBI’s balance sheet, with the central bank’s board choosing to adopt the lower bound of 5.5%.

The Bimal Jalan panel report on the central bank’s reserves doesn’t contain any dissent note, even though former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg had a different take on some of its suggestions before his transfer to the power ministry.

New finance secretary  Rajiv Kumar, who had replaced Garg on the panel, held two meetings with committee chairman and former RBI
governor Jalan — first on August 5 and the last on August 14 — after the committee had almost finalised its recommendations, and managed to gather consensus. After this, the report was finalised and submitted to RBI last week.

A source said Garg’s dissenting views were not, however, completely withdrawn and they were accommodated in various chapters
of the report.

“There is no separate dissent note but Garg’s views, including some dissenting ones that reflected the finance ministry’s stance, have been retained in the report,” said the source. Before he was shifted to the power ministry late last month, Garg had dissented on certain issues, as he wanted the review of the central bank’s economic capital framework to result in much higher surplus transfer to the government. He was against the methodology endorsed by some other members to arrive at the size of the RBI’s “surplus”, as he wanted a pie of the RBI’s revaluation reserves as well, apart from realised equity.

The report, endorsed by the RBI board on Monday, suggested realised equity reserves of 6.5-5.5% of the RBI’s balance sheet, with the central bank’s board choosing to adopt the lower bound of 5.5%. This ensured an additional surplus transfer of Rs 52,637 crore to the government, over and above the net disposable income of Rs 1.23 lakh crore from the RBI’s 2018-19 fiscal accounts (July-June). However, the panel categorically ruled out distributing revaluation reserves, distinguishing it from realised equity.

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