As a effect, even the suggestion is a reflection of how bad Centre-RBI ties are.
Last week, RBI deputy governor Viral Acharya lashed out at the Central government, saying it was trying to undermine the independence of the central bank. The following development surfaces soon after there were reports of a rift between the RBI Governor and the government. Sentiments are already weak in the market.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, meanwhile, has blamed the RBI's inability in identifying the problem of NPAs in Indian banks and lack of timely measures for the current crisis-like situation in the banking sector.
There have also been media reports that the government has invoked never-before-used powers under the RBI Act that allow it to issue directions to the central bank governor on matters of public interest. The Economic Affairs Secretary on Wednesday, however, refused to comment anything with respect to it.
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The clarification comes amid reports said that the government has invoked Section 7 of the RBI Act that empowers the government to consult and direct the RBI to act on issues that it considers necessary in public interest.
In open letter, All India Reserve Bank Employees Association says govt must desist from nibbling at central bank's autonomy and let it do its job in an unfettered way, else it will incur the wrath of financial markets.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram tweeted, "If, as reported, Government has invoked Section 7 of the RBI Act and issued unprecedented "directions" to the RBI, I am afraid there will be more bad news today".
Patel and other regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, met Jaitley and other top finance ministry officials at a meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council on Tuesday to discuss the liquidity crunch.
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Relaxation of lending norms: Non-official directors of the central banking institution have been demanding a slackening "MSME forbearance" (micro, small and medium enterprises). It added that the government holds extensive consultations with the RBI from time to time, during which is places its assessment on issues and suggests possible solutions, which is not disclosed to the public until a final decision has been taken.
The statement said the government has never made public the subject matter of those consultations.
But it was unclear if it had used powers for the first time under the RBI Act to give the bank instructions. What is the need to invoke the provision now? "The government will continue to do so", the ministry said. Neither the government nor the RBI has signaled any thaw of any of these specific issues yet.
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