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Govt-RBI relationship like of 'husband-wife', says Ex-PM Manmohan Singh

The comments came against the backdrop of Urjit Patel resigning as RBI Governor earlier this month amid a tussle between the central bank and the finance ministry

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh. Photo: PTI
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh | Photo: PTI

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said the relationship between the government and the RBI is like of "husband-wife" and the difference of opinions must be resolved in a manner that the two institutions work in harmony.

The comments came against the backdrop of Urjit Patel resigning as RBI Governor earlier this month amid a tussle between the central bank and the finance ministry on matters ranging from the appropriate size of reserves the central bank must hold to the easing of lending norms for sectors such as small and medium enterprises.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of his six-volume series of books titled 'Changing India' here, Singh, who is also a former RBI governor, said one has to respect the autonomy and the independence of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

"At the same time, I would say the relation between government and RBI is like husband-wife relationship. There will be hiccups, there will be difference of opinion, but ultimately these must be harmonised in a manner that these two great institutions can work in harmony," Singh said.

Following the resignation of Patel, the government appointed former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, who spearheaded normalisation of economy post demonetisation of November 2016, as new RBI Governor.

"Whosoever is Governor of RBI, I wish him well," Singh said.

The former PM and Rajya Sabha member further said "we need" a strong and independent RBI which has to work in close cooperation with the central government.

"I do hope and pray that the government and the RBI find a way to work together," he added.

On questions related to farm loan waivers announced by the new governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Singh said "we have to honour" the commitment that is part of the election manifesto which went to poll.

"I haven't studied the impact but since the commitment has been made so we have to honour it," he said and added the loan waiver was a commitment made to people of the two states and what has been promised has to be delivered.

First Published: Tue, December 18 2018. 21:25 IST
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