Finance minister Arun Jaitley. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
Finance minister Arun Jaitley. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Govt does not need RBI funds for next six months, says Jaitley

We respect the autonomy (of the RBI) but, at the same time, if some sectors are starved of liquidity or credit, we will flag those issues. We do so with the RBI: Finance minister Arun Jaitley in an interview to a television channel

Mumbai: The government does not need money from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the next six months, finance minister Arun Jaitley said in a TV interview telecast on Friday, rejecting Opposition charges the government was seeking access to the bank’s reserves to fund schemes ahead of the 2019 general election.

“I don’t need money in the next six months," Jaitley told Times Now news channel.

Also read: Banks get 3.7 trillion lending boost with RBI-Govt ceasefire

Critics accuse the government of trying to undermine the RBI’s authority, but Jaitley said his government respected the institution’s independence.

“We respect the autonomy (of the RBI) but, at the same time, if some sectors are starved of liquidity or credit, we will flag those issues. We do so with the RBI."

The Congress has accused the government of eyeing the cash reserves held by the RBI.

“Government is determined to ‘capture’ RBI in order to gain control over the reserves," P. Chidambaram, a former finance minister and a top Congress leader tweeted last week.

New Delhi has been pushing for access to the RBI’s surplus reserves prompting the RBI’s board to form an expert panel to look into whether its cash pool is adequate.

Also read: ECF panel to submit RBI reserves report by February end

The board whose members include government nominees, in a meeting last week, advised the RBI to aid small businesses and give bankers more time to step up capital norms to encourage lending and stimulate the economy ahead of next year’s election.

Also read: Section 7 of RBI Act on the backburner but threat remains

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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