NEW DELHI: The RBI did not oppose demonetisation in 2016 but it was good that the central bank was resisting the government’s move to take away Rs 3.6 lakh crore from its reserves, the Congress said.
“Rs 36,00,00,00,00,000. That’s how much the PM needs from the RBI to fix the mess his genius economic theories have created. Stand up to him Mr Patel. Protect the nation,” Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted without naming RBI governor Urjit Patel.
Party spokesperson Manish Tewari accused the government of playing with economic sovereignty of the country and expressed the apprehension that the amount, which was one third of the RBI’s reserves, would be used by the centre to fund freebies ahead of the 2019 national elections.
“The Congress would like to make it clear that all attempts to undermine the economic sovereignty of India will be resisted and this adventurism will not be allowed to run its course,” Tewari said.
According to Congress the centre’s move was unprecedented as never ever in the history of independent India had the central government made such a demand from the Reserve Bank of India.
“If this would fructify, this would tantamount to the great Indian Bank robber. And this is going to have profound implications on the macro-economic stability. The autonomy of the Central Bank is what provides confidence to both foreign and Indian investors with regard to the stability of the Indian economy,” said Tewari.
He cited the example of Argentina where 6.6 billion Dollars were transferred by the Central Bank to the National Treasury and the move sparked off one of the worst constitutional crisis as the country was before the IMF for a 50 Billion Dollar bailout with its currency completely gone haywire.
The Congress charged the government was unable to control the growing fiscal deficit. The fiscal deficit and the Current Account Deficit is mounting on a daily basis. In the first quarter of 2018-19, it was at 15.8 Billion dollars which is almost 2.4% of the GDP and it is growing. Government revenues are not growing in a corresponding manner because the economy has shrunk as a result of their policies. In order to bridge that fiscal deficit, the government has started eyeing the money which is lying with the RBI,” said Tewari.