Govt, RBI should work in harmony: Manmohan Singh1 min read . Updated: 19 Dec 2018, 01:42 AM IST
Manmohan Singh has been on both sides of the fence. He was RBI governor for a little over two years from 1982, before becoming Union finance minster. He then served as the prime minister for 10 years, heading the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance
A week after the appointment of Shaktikanta Das as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday advised the central bank and the government to work harmoniously.
“We need a strong, independent Reserve Bank of India which has to work in close cooperation with the centre. So, I do hope that Reserve Bank and the central government would find ways and means to work in harmony with each other," Singh said on the sidelines of the launch of a five-volume book of his articles, speeches and interviews, titled Changing India.
Singh has been on both sides of the fence. He was RBI governor for a little over two years from 1982, before becoming Union finance minster. He then served as the prime minister for 10 years, heading the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.
“One has to respect the autonomy and independence of RBI. There will be hiccups and difference of opinion, but ultimately these must be harmonized in a manner that these two great institutions can work in harmony," said Singh.
The book launch was peppered with anecdotes narrated by Singh. Recalling the time he was told by former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao about his new job—that of finance minister—Singh summed up his surprise: “People say I was the accidental prime minister. I was also the accidental finance minister."
Singh countered the charges of being a “silent prime minister", saying the new volumes will do the speak. In an apparent jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh also said that when in top office, he engaged with the press and held regular interactions.
“People say I was a silent prime minister. I think these volumes will speak for themselves…I would certainly like to say that I was not the prime minister who was afraid of talking to the press. I met the press regularly and (in) every foreign trip that I undertook I had a press conference on return in the plane or immediately after landing," Singh said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party could not be immediately reached for a comment.
A day after newly formed Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh announced farm loan waivers, Singh on Tuesday said the party was “honouring the commitment" written in its manifesto.