RBI Governor Urjit Patel has been asked by a parliamentary panel to appear before it again on May 25 over demonetisation issue after former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh prevailed over BJP MPs in the panel to call him. Interestingly, Patel was spared a grilling when he had appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in January this year after Singh, who himself was RBI governor once, intervened to say that the RBI as an institution needs to be respected and Patel should not be put to “odd” questions.
Top sources and members of the committee said that Patel has been asked to appear again before it to brief the members about demonetisation as discussion on it is yet to be concluded. “BJP members in the panel including Nishikant Dubey were not in favour of calling Patel to appear before the committee, but after members from opposition led by Manmohan Singh insisted, it was decided to call the RBI governor,” a member said.
The Committee headed by former Union minister and senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily had in January also called finance ministry officials besides top RBI officials to discuss the demonetisation of currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 and the impact thereof. As members could not complete their questions, the committee had decided to call RBI Governor and ministry officials again on a later date, after the Budget session.
The sources privy to development said that the members in the panel are likely to ask Patel about how much money has come back into the system. The members will also inquire as to when banks’ operations will be normal.