A K Bhattacharya: Changed world of RBI governors

A K Bhattacharya: Changed world of RBI governors: All new RBI governors will now have to deal with the committee system, perhaps giving up many of the powers their predecessors enjoyed...

RBI, changing with times

A K Bhattacharya’s article “Changed world of RBI governors” (Business Standard, New Delhi Diary, July 20) is a brief but balanced and comprehensive review of the recent happenings which have a long term impact on the functioning of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). For sure, the central bank does not get much affected by barbs by the likes of Dr Subramanian Swamy. But a concerted move by the political leadership in New Delhi and the mandarins in the North Block to assert ownership rights and to show the institution of RBI in poor light has considerably brought down the image of India’s central bank, though the presence of Dr Raghuram Rajan at Mint Road during the last three years has contained the damage to some extent.
The overt attempt to undermine RBI autonomy started with the appointment of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission(FSLRC) by GOI and getting a report from an obedient Commission on dotted lines. Instead of bothering much about reforms in financial sector, FSLRC concentrated on clipping RBI’s wings. It even recommended stripping of Governor’s designation. It has to be said to the credit of Dr Rajan and his predecessor who staked their own career to defend the causes dear to protect national interests by cogently arguing and getting some of the irrational recommendations of FSLRC dropped or modified in public interest.
The Reserve bank of India Act, 1934 was the result of a couple of decades’ deliberations and the institution has stood the test of time for eight decades now. Unless a political decision converts RBI into a department of GOI, India’s central bank has the resilience to rise to the occasion in trying times and if GOI is able to ensure the kind of leadership the institution was fortunate to get so far in coming years also, this institution will continue to play a prominent role in India’s economic growth.

G Warrier, Mumbai


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