Wanted to be free to speak, accepted RBI directorship in public interest: Swaminathan Gurumurthy

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New Delhi | Published: August 8, 2018 9:10:54 PM

The government has appointed Chartered Accountant Swaminathan Gurumurthy on the board of the RBI.

rbi, rbi boardThe RBI board comprises of a maximum of four directors, who are to be nominated by the central government, one from each of the four local boards of the central bank.

The government has appointed Chartered Accountant Swaminathan Gurumurthy, also considered as an RSS idealogue, on the board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Gurumurthy, who had referred demonetisation decision as the equivalent of Financial Pokhran, is said to be associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment as non-official director on the central board of the RBI for a period of four years, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry said.

“This is the first directorship ever. Never accepted any private or PSU directorship. Not even audit of PSUs or Pvt cos. Wanted to be free to speak. But when pressure built up I am needed to do something in public interest I had to accept,” Gurumurthy said in a tweet.

He is also the editor of Tamil magazine Thuglak.

In an interview in December 2016, a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced noteban, Gurumurthy had termed the demonetisation as “Financial Pokhran”.

He had said when people have excess cash there is always an urge to buy things which are not necessary and that leads to “irresponsible and heartless spending”.

Demonetisation would bring about a huge change, the expert had said.

“Just like Pokhran brought about a change which was unimaginable. Who would have thought America would look at India. If you had not exploded atom bomb they won’t have looked at you…,” he had said.

Besides Gurumurthy, the government has also appointed businessman Satish Kashinath Marathe as another non-official director on the RBI board for four years, the ministry said.

The central bank’s board can be categorised into official and non official directors.

RBI Governor and a maximum of four Deputy Governors can be considered as official directors whereas there can be ten non-official directors on the board under Section 8 (1) (c) of the RBI Act, 1934 .

The RBI board also comprises of a maximum of four directors, who are to be nominated by the central government, one from each of the four local boards of the central bank.

In addition to these, there is one government official (usually Financial Services Secretary) need to be nominated by the central government under Section 8 (1) (d) of the RBI Act.

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