With the Opposition raising questions on RBI’s credibility after its decision to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government raised a political storm, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Tuesday called the allegations “outlandish”.
Addressing a press conference, Sitharaman said the decision on the surplus transfer of RBI’s reserves was taken by a committee (Bimal Jalan panel) appointed by the central banking institution and the government had no role in it.
“This committee (Bimal Jalan Committee) is appointed by RBI, had eminent experts. They gave a formula based on which the amount was arrived at. Any suggestions about the credibility of RBI, therefore, for me seems a bit outlandish,” Sitharaman said.
Sitharaman also said a decision on the usage of the surplus amount was due. “Can’t comment on how dividends from RBI will be used,” she said.
[ie_backquote quote=”This committee (Bimal Jalan Committee) is appointed by RBI, had eminent experts. They gave a formula based on which the amount was arrived at. Any suggestions about the credibility of RBI, therefore, for me seems a bit outlandish” cite=”Nirmala Sitharaman”]
The RBI transfer includes Rs 1.23 lakh crore of surplus for 2018-19 and Rs 52,637 crore of excess provisions identified under a revised Economic Capital Framework (ECF) adopted by the RBI board. The transferred amount is over three times the five-year average of Rs 53,000 crore.
On Rahul Gandhi’s charge that the government was “stealing” from the central bank, Sitharaman said Congress should make charges after talking to former finance ministers of their party.
“Whenever Rahul Gandhi raises things like ‘chor, chori,’ one thing comes to my mind. He tried his best ‘chor, chor, chori,’ but public gave him befitting reply. What’s the point of using the same words again?” Sitharaman said referring to Gandhi’s election slogan of “chowkidar chor hai” against PM Modi.
To shore up the confidence of investors and entrepreneurs amid an economic slowdown and dipping investment sentiment in the country, the finance minister said, “Whatever be the size- small, medium, micro, nano or large entrepreneurs of this country, we want them to carry on with their business without a worry.”
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