Urjit Patel may resign as Jaitley’s remarks widen RBI-govt rift
31 October, 2018, 10:46 | Author: Kathy Ellis
It quoted another source as saying that there is "irreversible breakdown between RBI governor and the government".
According to Livemint, the government is unlikely to invoke Section 7 of the Reserve Bankof India Act though it is using it as a threat to get the central bank to the negotiating table on a host of issues, including the more recent liquidity crisis that has impacted non-banking finance companies. An official from the Finance Ministry, who declined to be named in line with department rules, said the Section 7 power in the Reserve Bank of India Act hadn't been invoked.
Under this, the Centre can hold a consultation with the RBI Governor and issue directions in matters of public interest. Reserve Bank case emphasising that "the Reserve Bank, apart from it being a reasonable body, is answerable to the Central Government, and the public opinion is certainly strong and vocal enough for it to heed".
The letters were sent at least a month before Acharya's speech, an official toldBloombergQuint. "It shows that government is hiding facts about the economy and is desperate". But in 2016, the central bank conducted a special asset quality review of all banks that determined there were $150 billion of non-performing loans, forcing the RBI to impose lending restrictions on some.
In such a situation, the law adds, the general supervision and "direction of affairs and business of the bank will be entrusted to a central board of directors which may exercise all powers and do all acts and things which may be exercised or done by the bank". The RBI also opposed a suggestion by the government's inter-ministerial committee to set up an independent regulator for payment systems.
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The development comes amidst growing rift between the centre and the central bank after the RBI deputy governor Viral Acharya, in a fiery speech, warned that undermining a central bank's independence could be "potentially catastrophic".
Jaitley had on Tuesday blamed the RBI for failing to stop a lending spree between 2008-2014 that left banks with huge bad debts, inflaming a row that recently erupted between the government and the central bank.
Voicing support for Patel, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said if the governor decides to leave, the blame would fall on Jaitley.
Government officials were "very upset" with the RBI for publicly talking about a rift with the government, fearing it could tarnish the country's image among investors, Reuters reported.
This temporarily takes away the RBI's independence and autonomy. The folloiwng can also be used by the government to push their agendas via Central Bank.
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