Congress leader Randeep Surjewala on Saturday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party’s demonetisation move, saying that it has decimated the independence of the Reserve Bank of India, while referring to the letter written by the RBI officers and employees to the Governor.
“The Reserve Bank of India is a premiere autonomous institution of this country that not only decides its monetary policy and is the protector chest of the currency of the country but also plays the role of a catalyst in the credit growth as well as the economic growth of the country. The Modi Government has decimated the independence and functionality of the RBI,” Surjewala told ANI in an interview here.
Surjewala also opined that the RBI Governor Urjit Patel must now come forward and speak up. “No wonder that an important issue has been raised by the three unions of officers and employees of the RBI as to how the BJP has decimated RBI and made it a captive to the dictates of the Modi Government. Urjit Patel, the RBI Governor, who has prostrated before the Modi government and hampered the prestige of the institution must now come forward and reply,” he said.
Earlier, in a strongly worded letter addressed to the RBI Governor Urjit Patel, the United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees had alleged that post the government’s demonetisation move, the image of the Central bank was dented beyond repair. “We request the Governor of the RBI, its highest functionary and protector of its autonomy and prestige, to do the needful urgently to do away with this unwarranted interference from the Finance Ministry and assure the staff accordingly as the staff feels humiliated,” the letter had added.
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It had also said that the autonomy and image of the RBI was ‘dented beyond repair’ due to mismanagement and termed the appointment of a senior Finance Ministry official as a ‘blatant encroachment’ of its exclusive turf of currency management. The letter sought to draw attention to the RBI Act 1934, which stipulates that the central bank was constituted to ‘regulate the issue of notes and keeping of reserves with a view to secure monetary stability in India’ and generally, to operate the currency and credit system of the country.
The letter came days after concerns about the RBI’s functioning being raised by Manmohan Singh (former prime minister), Y V Reddy and Bimal Jalan among others.