Govt does not need money from RBI in next 6 months, says Arun Jaitley; 'respect autonomy' of central bank

Critics accuse the government of trying to undermine the RBI’s authority, but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said his government respected the institution’s independence.

Reuters November 25, 2018 01:51:22 IST
Govt does not need money from RBI in next 6 months, says Arun Jaitley; 'respect autonomy' of central bank

Mumbai: The government does not need money from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the next six months,finance minister Arun Jaitley said in a TV interview telecast on Friday, rejecting Opposition charges the government was seeking access to the bank’s reserves to fund schemes ahead of the 2019 general election.

“I don’t need money in the next six months,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a news channel interview.

Critics accuse the government of trying to undermine the central bank’s authority, but Jaitley said his government respected the institution’s independence.

Govt does not need money from RBI in next 6 months says Arun Jaitley respect autonomy of central bank

File image of finance minister Arun Jaitley. Reuters.

“We respect the autonomy (of the RBI) but, at the same time, if some sectors are starved of liquidity or credit, we will flag those issues. We do so with the RBI.”

The Congress has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of eyeing the cash reserves held by the RBI.

“Government is determined to ‘capture’ RBI in order to gain control over the reserves,” P Chidambaram, a former finance minister and a top Congress leader tweeted last week.

New Delhi has been pushing for access to RBI’s surplus reserves prompting the central bank’s board to form an expert panel to look into whether its cash pool is adequate.

The board whose members include government nominees, in a meeting last week, advised the RBI to aid small businesses and give bankers more time to step up capital norms to encourage lending and stimulate the economy ahead of next year’s election.

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