Lashing out at the PM Modi-led BJP government, Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said that they were trying to 'capture' the Reserve Bank of India to tide over its fiscal crisis. He also alleged that the government as picked the central bank's board with handpicked nominees, and was making every attempt to push through its proposals at the RBI board meeting on November 19. The Congress leader further warned that any attempt to “capture” the central bank using power would prove to be catastrophic for the nation.
"The government stares at a fiscal deficit crisis... The government wants to step up the expenditure in an election year. Finding all avenues closed, in desperation, the government has demanded Rs 1 lakh crore from the reserves of RBI," the former finance minister said at a press conference.
If RBI Governor Urjit Patel stands his ground, the Centre was planning to issue a direction under Section 7 of the RBI Act, 1934, directing the apex bank to transfer Rs 1 lakh crore to the government's account, he claimed.
"The day of reckoning is November 19 when the RBI board is scheduled to meet. The government has packed the RBI board with its handpicked nominees and is making every attempt to ram through its proposal at the meeting," Chidambaram said.
"If the RBI either defies the government or RBI governor resigns, in either events, the consequence will be catastrophic," he added.