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This article was first published 8 years ago  » Business » Jaitley disapproves personal attack on Rajan, Congress seeks apology

Jaitley disapproves personal attack on Rajan, Congress seeks apology

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 26, 2016 21:01 IST
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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said RBI and the government are in continuous dialogue and that relationship will continue.

Amid BJP MP Subramanian Swamy stepping up his tirade against Raghuram Rajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said he does not approve of "personal comments" against anyone including the RBI Governor.

"I don't approve of personal comments against anyone, let alone the RBI Governor," the minister said when asked about the continuing attack on Rajan in past few months and whether there was an effort on part of the government to ring-fence the Governor.

The Reserve Bank, Jaitley said, is an important institution which makes its own judgement.

"One can agree or disagree with their judgment, but that's a debate on issues. But I don't think we should allow a public discourse where instead of debate on issues we concentrate on debate on persons," he told NDTV.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Thursday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise for the BJP MP targeting "one of the most outstanding economists in the world".

"The present governor of the RBI is one of the most outstanding economists in the world. It is unfortunate that their own Rajya Sabha member has made the statement and more than that it is unfortunate that the PM has not spoken," Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal said.

In separate letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi within a fortnight, Swamy has sought immediate dismissal of the RBI Governor alleging that Rajan was "mentally not fully Indian" and has "wilfully" wrecked the economy by keeping interest rate high.

Swamy also accused Rajan of sending confidential and sensitive financial information around the world.

Jaitley said RBI and the government are in continuous dialogue and that relationship will continue.

"And I hope from the later part of this year, the Monetary Policy Committee will get into action and therefore, both the bank and the government nominees will have to sit together and decide monetary policy," he said.

Rajan's tenure is scheduled to end in early September.

To a question on views of certain corporate leaders that the rupee will crash and economy will face crisis if Rajan is removed as RBI Governor, Jaitley said there was no need for him to comment.

"I think in democracy debate of every kind takes place. Now people make comment one way, somebody else makes the other way. I read those comments, it’s not necessary for me to express views on those comments," he said.

On a question that should RBI Governor remain conservative and publicly shy, Jaitley said it all depends upon individuals.

"It depends on persons. Even among ministers you will have people who express themselves can always have personalities which keep to themselves and just read statements.

"There are others who go out and speak. I am a minister and go out and speak on subjects which don't concern my ministry also. I can't preach to the world that don't go and deliver lectures because...I do a lot of it myself," he said.

As an outspoken RBI Governor, Rajan has expressed his views on host of issues, including intolerance and has even described India as 'one-eyed king' in the land of blind in reference to the country's high economic growth.

Addressing a joint press conference with a battery of senior leaders at the AICC headquarters, Kapil Sibal said, "It is the duty of the Prime Minister, in fact, to make a public statement apologising for what his party member has said about a person whom the world holds in high esteem."

Sibal said it was a matter of regret that the government failed to clarify that it was not its view when Swamy made the demand for Rajan's removal for the first time.

He insisted that Swamy has been brought to the Rajya Sabha for the "particular purpose" of attacking the Congress party as also "individuals in high places and institutions".

Sibal's remarks came close on the heels of Swamy firing another salvo at Rajan levelling six allegations against him and asking the Prime Minister to immediately terminate his services.

Accusing Rajan of raising interest rate to the detriment of small and medium industries, Swamy said the RBI governor should have known the "inevitable consequence of rising and high interest rate and his policy was wilful and thus anti-national in intent".

Rajan, the BJP leader also claimed, has been sending confidential and sensitive financial information using unsecured Chicago University email id and publicly disparaging the BJP government. 

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