RBI's Urjit Patel grilled over demonetisation; ex-PM comes to his rescue

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RBI Governor Urjit Patel
RBI Governor Urjit Patel

New Delhi : RBI governor Urjit Patel on Wednesday appeared before parliamentary panel to answer questions raised over his actions during recent demonetisation drive by the government.

Mr Patel claimed that the Central Bank injected back 9.2 lakh crore rupees back into the system post November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes will not be valid. Around Rs 15.4 lakh crore worth of the notes were removed from circulation.

“The RBI governor was unable to tell us how much old currency has come to the banks,” panel member and Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy told media, criticising Patel for his “inability” to answer vital questions.

Deadline to deposit old currency notes has ended on December 31, however, RBI is accepting them till March 31.

After things went a little tough for Mr Patel during the meeting, former RBI governor Manmohan Singh, who is also on the committee, came to his rescue.

He asked Urjit Patel not to answer any question that would compromise the autonomy of the central bank, sources said.