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P Chidambaram wonders if Modi govt deserves Raghuram Rajan as RBI Governor

Chidambaram said that the Congress will respond if the Prime Minister and the finance minister speak against Rajan.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 29, 2016 1:02:43 am
Raghuram Rajan, RBI, RBI raghuram rajan, RBI chief, RBI governor, RBI governor controversy, Subramanian swamy, Congress Rajan Former Uniion Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. Express archive photo.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday wondered whether the BJP-led government “deserves” an RBI Governor like Raghuram Rajan, who had been facing a strident attack from BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy. Chidambaram described him as “one of the most outstanding economists in the world”.

Congress had claimed that the tirade against Rajan has the full and complete blessings of the government and the
ruling BJP.

“I am beginning to think whether this government deserves Dr Rajan,” he replied when asked whether he should be given a second term. Rajan’s three-year term ends in the first week of September.

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Addressing a press conference at the AICC, Chidambaram initially did not answer questions on Swamy’s attack on Rajan, saying the Congress will respond if the Prime Minister and the finance minister speak against him.

Responding to more questions, he defended Rajan. He said “the UPA government appointed one of the most outstanding economists of the world as the Governor of the RBI. We placed full confidence in him at that time and we continue to place full confidence in him today.”

Asked whether as finance minister, he too had reservations about Rajan’s interest rate stand, he said finance ministers and central bank governors engage in that kind of debate world over and added the UPA government had the best of relationships with all central bank governors, including Rajan.

“World over, finance ministers and central bank governors engage in such a dialogue. That does not mean the finance minister is questioning the competence of the RBI governor. Each one approaches the economy from his or her own perspective. Government’s perspective is growth. The Central bank governor’s perspective is monetary stability….”

“Eight out of ten times both will agree and once the monetary policy statement is made the finance minister will endorse it. Unfortunately that it is not news. Two out of ten times, when the Finance Minister expresses some reservation then that becomes news. That is true of all finance ministers and all central bank governors all over the world. As far are we were concerned, we had the best of relationships with all central bank governors and as long as we were in government we had the best relations with Dr Raghuram Rajan,” he said.

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