Demonetisation: Was RBI given time to discuss note ban drive? Manmohan Singh asks

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Updated: December 23, 2016 9:00:16 PM

During a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, the Former PM Manmohan Singh, raised yet another pertinent question whether the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was given sufficient time to discuss the move of demonetisation.

During a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, the Former PM Manmohan Singh, raised yet another pertinent question whether the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was given sufficient time to discuss the move of demonetisation. (PTI)During a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, the Former PM Manmohan Singh, raised yet another pertinent question whether the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was given sufficient time to discuss the move of demonetisation. (PTI)

During a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance on Thursday, the Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, raised yet another pertinent question whether the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was given sufficient time to discuss the move of demonetisation before the announcement was made on November 8. As per the reports by The Indian Express, the distinguished economist and former RBI governor, Singh raised the question at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on finance which is studying the government’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. The discussion of the issue of demonetisation was done and critically analysed in the presence of independent experts like economists Rajiv Kumar and Mahesh Vyas, Kavita Rao of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and former chief statistician Pronab Sen.

A panel member, who attended the meeting was quoted as saying, “We were discussing when the RBI governor should appear before the panel. Singh said that according to a note from the RBI, the government took the decision on November 7 and the RBI board decided on it on November 8. So it would be better if the panel hears from the government first and then calls the RBI governor. Singh said that the panel can then ask the RBI governor regarding autonomy of the institution.”

A BJP member of the panel was quoted as saying that the former prime minister apparently suggested that the RBI was not adequately involved in decision-making. It was all government’s decision and RBI was just asked to follow as directed, after which eventually the RBI board approved it. He also added,”The government is saying it took the decision in view of reasons like Naxalism, drugs, terrorism, counterfeit currency. These come under the Home Ministry, not Finance Ministry.”

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Urijit Patel, RBI governor will brief the panel on January 18 or 19. Meanwhile this is not first time Singh is questioning the demonetisation move, he had earlier criticised the Centre’s decision of demonetisation in Lok Sabha saying that the move is an ‘organised loot’, ‘legalised plunder’ and ‘monumental failure’.

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