Reserve Bank of India

Reserve Bank of India, government are set for a Monday face off

Posted 1 year ago in Economics and Trade.

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Neeraj Choudhary
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The RBI, which is also the banking regulator, may be open to easing tight money conditions in the banking sector by injecting cash through open market purchases of bonds. India’s monetary policy makers and government officials will meet Monday in a board meeting that promises to be anything but its usual dull affair. Locked in a power struggle over how much capital the central bank needs and how tough its lending rules should be, a trained accountant parachuted into the Reserve Bank of India’s board by the government in August may be key to whether a compromise can be found or whether the already public spat turns even uglier. Swaminathan Gurumurthy, a chartered accountant turned newspaper columnist, has set the tempo by chiding the monetary authority for being too tough in its efforts to rid banks of bad debts and arguing the case for lower reserves -- a step that would give the government more cash ahead of an election year. The central bank -- led by Governor Urjit Patel-- has pushed back against the moves, keen to burnish its inflation-targeting credentials and clean up one of the world’s worst bad-debt piles. Patel’s deputy took the spat public in late October in a fiery speech in defense of central bank independence.

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