Congress slams RBI transferring Rs 1.76 lakh crore to government

Rahul Gandhi

Delhi (IANS): A day after the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Central Board accepted the Bimal Jalan panel recommendations and decided to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh crore in dividend and surplus reserves to the government, Congress on Tuesday slammed the move. [A crore is 10 million; and a lakh is 100,000.]

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet: “PM and FM are clueless about how to solve their self created economic disaster. Stealing from RBI wont work – it’s like stealing a Band-Aid from the dispensary and sticking it on a gunshot wound.”

Congress media chief Randeep Singh Surjewala called the move a “fiscal harakiri”, and asked whether it was sheer coincidence that the Rs 1.76 lakh crore borrowed by the RBI matches with the “missing amount in the Budget calculation”.

He further insinuated that the money was to “save BJP’s crony friends”.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted: “1.76 lac crore of surplus revenue of RBI to be transferred to stimulate the economy of 1.76 lac crore of surplus of the RBI taken because the same has already been spent by the government and the Bimal Jalan committee was merely a rubber stamp?”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not reacted to the allegations so far.

The Central Board on Monday accepted all the recommendations of the Jalan panel and finalised the RBI’s accounts for 2018-19 using the revised ECF to determine risk provisioning and surplus transfer.

A government-RBI face-off saw the creation of the panel of eminent experts helmed by Bimal Jalan, which also included former RBI Deputy Governor Rakesh Mohan, central board members Bharat Doshi and Sudhir Mankad, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg and RBI Deputy Governor N.S. Vishwanathan.

Among its mandates was that it would also determine whether the RBI is holding provisions, reserves and buffers in surplus or deficit of said levels, and would propose a suitable profit distribution policy.