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Rajan's revelation

As opinion was given orally, it is always possible to play with words like long-term benefits

Business Standard 

With reference to “Bureaucracy tries to erode RBI Governor’s powers: Rajan” (September 4), Raghuram Rajan, with his long teaching experience and depth of knowledge of the subjects he handles, is an excellent communicator of ideas. In this context, his new book “I Do What I Do” which comes out after the one-year self-imposed “silence” will be more explosive than the memoirs his two immediate predecessors brought out in quick succession in recent years. The obvious difference between the memoirs of Duvvuri Subbarao and Y V Reddy and the collection of speeches and writings during his tenure that has been brought out in the book by Rajan is that while the memoirs were written in leisure post-retirement, “I Do What I Do” interprets events during his three-year tenure on Mint Road, by merely adding notes or explanations to what he had already spoken or written as Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor.

As always, Rajan has pre-empted his adversaries from reading between the lines. One of two examples is about his exit on completion of his “sanctioned leave”. Now he blames the absence of “offer on the table”, while everyone knows his one foot was all through in Chicago! Two, the cautious observation about short-term economic costs outweighing long-term benefits of demonetisation now being made public is a masterstroke. As the was given “orally”, it is always possible to play with words like long-term benefits and short-term losses. In any case, the revelation makes it abundantly clear that the RBI was associated with the groundwork for demonetisation from February 2016. Having said that, Rajan’s contribution to sorting out some of the long-pending relationship issues between the government and the RBI and expediting banking sector reforms will be remembered in India with gratitude.

M G Warrier   Mumbai

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First Published: Mon, September 04 2017. 22:32 IST
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