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Hope Urjit Patel and His Team Have a Spine, Says Rahul Gandhi as RBI Board Meeting Gets Underway

Rahul Gandhi has termed the Centre’s nominees in the RBI board as PM Narendra Modi’s “coterie of cronies”.


Updated:November 19, 2018, 11:33 AM IST
Hope Urjit Patel and His Team Have a Spine, Says Rahul Gandhi as RBI Board Meeting Gets Underway
File photo of Urjit Patel.
New Delhi: Taking potshots at the NDA government as a crucial RBI board meeting got underway, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi termed the Centre’s nominees in the board as PM Narendra Modi’s “coterie of cronies”.

Urging RBI governor Urjit Patel to protect the central bank’s autonomy, he said, “I hope Mr Patel and his team have a spine.”

The meeting of the board, analysts say, is set in an atmosphere of mistrust over perceived government interference on the central bank's functioning. Though the government has maintained it has no intention of forcing the RBI's hand to do its bidding, the opposition has alleged the NDA regime intends to plough into the precious reserves of the central bank in election season.

“Mr Modi and his coterie of cronies, continue to destroy every institution they can get their hands on. Today, through his puppets at the #RBIBoardMeet he will attempt to destroy the RBI. I hope Mr Patel and his team have a spine and show him his place,” tweeted Gandhi.

Attacking the government for seeking a greater involvement in the RBI’s decision-making process, Chidambaram, a day before the meeting, said that the Centre is determined to ‘capture’ the central bank in order to gain control over its reserves.

“Government is determined to ‘capture’ RBI in order to gain control over the reserves. The other so-called disagreements are only a smokescreen,” he tweeted.

“Nowhere in the world is the central bank a Board-managed Company. To suggest that private business persons will direct the Governor is a preposterous idea,” he added.

The RBI is also likely to agree to easing of lending norms for MSMEs, including strict rating criteria, to improve credit flow to this sector, sources said.

Besides, the central bank is expected to consider special dispensation for the MSME sector and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) which have been facing liquidity issues.

The government feels that MSMEs, which employ about 12 crore people, play a critical role in the economy, and the sector which was hit by demonetisation and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) needs some support.

However, the central bank has been averse to the government’s demand for special dispensation for MSME and NBFC sectors as it consider them to be vulnerable.
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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