Looking for some change, Governor

Looking for some change, Governor: So the Government of India has announced the name of the next Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. In a way, there was no great surprise. Of the three names that had been mentioned in the press as...

'Call' for change
This refers to Pulapre Balakrishnan’s excellent article “Looking for some change, Governor” (The Hindu, August 23). Once one completes reading, the concluding observations lingers on and the smiling face of S S Tarapore who regularly wrote a column (Maverick View) in The Hindu business Line comes to my mind. I am referring to the skill with which Pulapre has woven common man’s concerns into the fabric of economic theory and monetary policy. Tarapore would have presented the case same way, in a more piercing language which he considered his prerogative, probably because of his long association with RBI.
Loss of focus on research and more importantly the institutional confidence to speak out central bank’s mind really did get diluted since 1990’s. The HR background for this can be traced to the treatment meted out to professionals working in research departments in RBI. The general side had an aversion to specialisation, something similar to the caste system in government where a particular class ( IAS ) looks down upon other services, defence and foreign service personnel,
scientists and economists. Definitely, change is in sight for the better in the outlook of post-1990’s entrants.
The evolution of the role of RBI as a central bank in the Indian context brought out in the article need to be taken note of by those who are making effort to redefine RBI’s responsibilities. Minting and making available coins of smaller denominations (irrespective of costs involved) will send out a positive message down the line about the concern of GOI and RBI for the common man. More importantly, GOI and RBI should prioritise mapping of idle resources lying idle in the vaults of private organisations including religious bodies and social outfits doing commendable work in supporting charity. It is not just about possibility of corrupt practices. A nation has the right to know its real net-worth.

G Warrier, Mumbai


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