Govt’s move to seek 3.6 lakh crore from RBI ‘a great Indian bank robbery’: Cong

Govt’s move to seek 3.6 lakh crore from RBI ‘a great Indian bank robbery’: Cong

New Delhi, Nov 6: The Congress party on Tuesday reacted sharply to reports on Central government seeking 3.6 lakh crore from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reserve as extremely serious, sensitive and delicate that could have severe implications on the economic sovereignty of the country.

In a strongly worded tweet, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "In Rs 36,00,00,00,00,000 That’s how much the PM needs from the RBI to fix the mess his genius economic theories have created. Stand up to him Mr (Urjit) Patel. Protect the nation."

Addressing mediapersons here, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari pointed out that such a move by the government is absolutely unprecedented.

"If this going to fructified, this would tantamount to the great Indian bank robbery," Mr Tewari said.

Citing reports that the government may invoke section 7 of the RBI Act as the central bank is strongly resisting the government move, Mr Tewari said that such a move by the government will demolish the autonomy of the central bank.

He added that when speculations arose about the government planning such a move, in its usual secretive way, it came out with statements which concealed more and revealed less.

Mr Tewari said, quoting media reports that the Union government has sought transfer of 3.6 lakh crore out of 9.59 lakh crore, which constitutes the cash reserve of the RBI.

The Congress spokesperson said that such a move would have severely affect the macro-economic stability of the country.

"The autonomy of the RBI is what provides confidence to both foreign and Indian investors with regard to the stability of the Indian economy. It constitutes one of the fundamentals of the Indian economy. The government wants to demolish the confidence and demolish the RBI.", he said.

RBI has enough liquidity available in order to meet any contingency, he added.

Stressing that the Congress would resist the government bid to demolish the economy, Mr Tewari alleged that the Modi government is prepared to play with the economic sovereignty of the country.

“The reasons that they are seeking this amount because of the mounting fiscal and current account deficits. The government revenues are not growing because the economy has shrunk because of their policies. In order to bridge the fiscal deficit, the government has started eying the RBI reserve”, he alleged.

He also alleged that the reason for the crisis is because the government wants to use the money to give out freebies to win the 2019 elections.

The Congress spokesperson also pointed out that the crisis has mounted on the second anniversary of the demonetisation, which was announced by Mr Modi on November 8, 2016.

“The concerns are increasing in the RBI that the autonomy of the central bank has been eroded, and this has come on the anniversary of ‘Tuglaqi farman’ (dictatorial decision), called demonetisation, which completely destroyed the economy”, Mr Tewari said.

He said the RBI did not stand up to the government when it announced demonetisation, but the RBI has finally found its spine and it is standing up to the government now.

Congress also announced nationwide protest on November 9 on the second anniversary of the announcement of demonetisation. (UNI)