Nothing should be done to impair RBI’s ability: Chidambaram
National

Nothing should be done to impair RBI’s ability: Chidambaram

New Delhi, Nov 10 : Alleging that the NDA Government is planning to override the Governor of the Reserve bank of India through the Board of Directors at its next meeting on November 19, to use the RBI’s reserves to meet its fiscal deficit target, senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has warned that nothing should be done to impair RBI’s ability to maintain monitory stability.

In a series of tweets late on Friday night, Chidambaram alleged that the immediate goal of the government was to lay its hands on the reserves of the RBI and appropriate a sum of at least Rs 1 lakh crore to meet its fiscal deficit target and to increase spending in an election year.

'I fear the worst at the next meeting of the Board on November 19, 2018, and I consider it my duty to warn the people of the country of the catastrophic consequences of the BJP government’s ill-conceived actions. The government has already taken the extraordinary step of invoking Section 7 of the RBI Act.

The immediate goal of the government is to lay its hands on the reserves of the RBI and appropriate a sum of at least Rs 1 lakh crore to meet its fiscal deficit target and to increase spending in an election year,' Mr Chidambaram said.

Citing reports to allege that the BJP government was planning to override the Governor through the Board of Directors on which the government had planted its hand-picked nominees, Mr Chidambaram said, 'According to reports, the BJP government is planning to override the Governor through the Board of Directors on which the government has planted its hand-picked nominees. The Congress Party believes that the RBI has the mandate to maintain monetary stability and nothing should be done to impair its ability to do so.

It is clear that the BJP has no understanding of the role of the central bank and has no respect for the independence of the Governor.'

Charging the BJP of trying to destroy institutions in the country, he said, 'our immediate concern is the BJP government’s determined efforts to wreck or capture crucial institutions of the country. The latest victim is the Reserve Bank of India. It is our duty to caution the people that the BJP is taking the country on a path of conflict and economic disaster.'

Pointing out that on August 15, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to the people to put a moratorium of 10 years on all issues that were divisive and controversial, Mr Chidambaram said, 'Today, that appeal has been forgotten and the BJP — from the Prime Minister to Chief Ministers to ministers to party functionaries to pracharaks to supporters — has embraced Hindutva and has re-opened every issue that is divisive, controversial and polarising. Nearing the end of its term, the BJP has resurrected the Hindutva agenda.'

He said the BJP had failed to deliver on the promises made by the Prime Minister during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. 'Where is the promise of eliminating terrorism and militancy? Where is the promise of putting an end to alleged tax terrorism? Where is the promise of achieving double digit GDP growth rate? Every promise has gone up in smoke. Where is the promise of restoring the exchange value of the rupee to Rs 40 per US dollar? Where is the promise of creating world class Universities? Where is the promise of eliminating terrorism and militancy?,' he asked.

'The other promises of BJP have also vanished in thin air. I ask, where is the promise of creating 2 crore jobs a year? Where is the promise of doubling the farmer’s income? Where is the promise of reducing the prices of food and fuel, especially the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG?, ' he said.

Mr Chidambaram’s comments come shortly after the Government denied that it had asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to transfer Rs 3.6 lakh crore or 1 lakh crore from the Central Bank reserves, saying that its calculations are 'completely on track'.

Department of Economics Affairs Secretary S C Garg tweeted, 'Lot of misinformed speculation is going around in media. Government’s fiscal math is completely on track. There is no proposal to ask RBI to transfer 3.6 or 1 lakh crore, as speculated.' (UNI)