New Delhi, Jan 19, 2017: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday defended the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel by suggesting to him not to answer Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s query on whether there could be chaos if the existing restrictions on cash withdrawals are removed.
RBI governor, who along with other RBI and finance ministry officials appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, was put to some tough questions by members, sources in the committee said.
Singh pointedly intervened during a meeting of the standing committee on finance when Congress MP Digvijaya Singh suggested that Patel was not clearly answering a question on withdrawal of restrictions as he would have to admit that removal of restraints would result in chaos. “You need not answer that question,” Singh told Patel, ending the line of inquiry and MPs did not press the governor on the issue, perhaps in deference to Singh’s standing and experience as a former central bank governor himself.
On Wednesday, in a revelation about how the crucial decision on demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes was taken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at a day’s notice, RBI Governor Urjit Patel told a Parliamentary Committee that the apex bank had been “advised” by the government on November 7 to hold a board meeting on the issue.
Patel was also asked about the value of demonetised currency which has come back to the banks and is learnt to have said that the committee will be apprised of the figure in due course.
He was also asked about withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000 per week. The committee is likely to get written answers to some of the questions raised on Wednesday and Patel may again appear before the committee next month.
However, the RBI has still not declared how much of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore in banned notes has been returned to the banks.