Raghuram Rajan in the limelight again

Raghuram Rajan in the limelight again: Raghuram Rajan's views on reform of governance at PSBs are rather more debatable...



September 19, 2017
Rajan effect
This refers to TT Ram Mohan’s piece “Rajan in the limelight again” (Business Standard, Finger on the pulse, September 19). Those who have been following Dr Raghuram Rajan at least from mid-2013 will have no doubt about what the former RBI Governor meant by titling his 2017 book “I Do What I Do”. So far, Rajan has used his ‘properties’ and timing with the deftness and precision of a magician. His understanding of the Indian media and the ability to change the directions of cameras and mikes single-handed is well-known. This much of introduction is the minimum needed, to make the following observations about ‘what he did’ during the last one year.
Once the media and the analysts start contemplating over the content of his recently released book and the bold statements Dr Rajan made during his speeches and media interactions during the first half of September 2017, several questions will resurface, which will predictably haunt the former RBI Governor when he comes back to India next time, perhaps armed with another book. What Dr Rajan conveniently ignored is the fact that time did not stand still in India for one year period during which he was on a self-imposed silence on Indian affairs. Three issues selected at random which may need further elucidation from Rajan are:
(a)   Demonetization: If Dr Rajan gave his views not favoring withdrawal of legal tender character of Specified Bank Notes as early as in February 2016, why he left it to his deputies in RBI to associate with the preparations culminating in the November 8, 2016 announcement by Prime Minister Modi?
(b)  RBI’s reserves: Was he convinced personally about the ‘adequacy’ of RBI’s reserves as certified by Malegam Committee, when the level of reserves was steadily depleting  from the 12 percent (of total assets) level targeted by RBI much earlier and almost achieved in 2009? Was he succumbing to GOI pressure to ‘transfer more funds’?
(c) On page 211 of the book, Dr Rajan regrets his inability to get parity with GOI, in retirement benefits for RBI staff. Why herefrained from convincing GOI about an issue he was deeply concerned?
M G Warrier, Mumbai

Comments

Ashok said…
Congrats for your very pertinent quries.

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