RBI and govt must disclose how much of old Rs 500-1,000 is back

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Published: January 18, 2017 8:32:10 PM

RBI Governor Urjit Patel must find ways now to show that the apex bank is in complete command of the situation, instead of expressing disability in providing information about the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 that have come back.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel now needs to find a way out to show that the central bank is in a commanding position, which is sadly missing.(PTI)RBI Governor Urjit Patel now needs to find a way out to show that the central bank is in a commanding position, which is sadly missing. (PTI)

santosh-tiwari-sRBI Governor Urjit Patel must find ways now to show that the apex bank is in complete command of the situation, instead of expressing disability in providing information about the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 that have come back.

If RBI Governor Urjit Patel is not aware of how much of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore demonetised through the removal of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes have come back in the system, then there is certainly a reason to worry, but if he is forced to not disclose the information despite having it because of the government pressure to even the Parliamentary standing committee, it will impact the faith of the people in the apex bank.

According to the news reports, the RBI Governor was unable to tell the standing committee on finance how much money has come back, while informing them that Rs 9.2 lakh crore in new currency has already been introduced into the system.

That the government and many others miscalculated the extent of money, which would not return to the system, some projections suggest that 97% of the demonetised notes may have returned already, is now proven beyond doubt, but by trying to suppress the correct information, it is only adding to the confusion created due to the poor implementation.

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The demonetisation decision had to be that of the government, and it is so, and RBI could have only suggested the pros and cons of it, but any view that it could have stopped it in any way, is on a weak wicket.

Even though the handling of the implementation at RBI’s end also lacked planning and precision, it would be wrong to criticise the bank for not taking a firm stand against demonetisation.

But, RBI Governor Urjit Patel now needs to find a way out to show that the central bank is in a commanding position, which is sadly missing.

On their part, prime minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley also must accept that as far as unearthing black money though demonetisation in the immediate run is concerned, they have not succeeded as people have found ways to deposit their unaccounted income in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in banks and post offices.

There is no point in hiding information about how much of the demonetised notes are back. The government and RBI would do well by focusing on catching those who have succeeded in depositing their black money kept in old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

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