The Congress on Saturday demanded a white paper on the privatisation of banks, accusing the Narendra Modi government of pressuring the Reserve Bank of India into disowning a research paper that warned against what the Opposition party said was a “reckless” plan.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said: “The Modi government must pause, assess and make a public declaration on what does it aim to achieve through reckless privatisation. It must also stop pressurising institutions like the RBI to tow the government line. One has to look no further than demonetisation to assess what forcing the RBI resulted in. They have transformed the Reserve Bank into the Reverse Bank.”
She added: “The question is, why did the government feel the need to pressurise the RBI? This explains how the Modi government works. If there is an institutional warning, mount pressure, force them to fall in line. This exposes the bad intent of the government….”
The Congress was referring to the RBI’s clarification on Friday on an article by the apex bank’s researchers that warned of negative consequences of big-bang privatisation. The central bank said the views expressed in the article “are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the RBI”.
Shrinate said: “The researchers are from the RBI, but their report against bank privatisation isn’t the RBI’s! How an institution like the RBI has been pressurised by the government to issue a clarification, where the RBI has disowned the research paper, emphatically stating it is the views of the authors and not the RBI. It’s a pity that the same RBI which once hailed the nationalisation of 14 banks as the single-most important economic decision taken by any government since 1947 is today forced to disown their researchers’ reports praising public sector banks and their efficiency.”