RBI’s Central Board meeting at Kolkata (on 15 Dec 2016) becomes a sad tragedy..

The attention is clearly on RBI’s Central Board and its meetings. All this while way too much attention has been paid on the Monetary Policy Committee but one of the most (if not the most) decisions in India’s monetary history (or world’s) has been taken by the RBI Central Board.

It seems after the highly eventful meeting on 8 Nov 2016 , the Board met for the first time in Kolkata today (15 Dec 2016). Sadly it seems there was some tragedy on Kolkata Airport as RBI Governor was heckled and shown black flags. Much of it was expected!

This is all so sad. There is a reason why experts say that RBI should not have been involved into this demonetisation drive. It should have happened via the Parliament route. What were basically unknown events even to the financial media and experts have become a boiling point for political parties.

I don’t even know why this Board meeting was kept at Kolkata at first place given the turbulent political relations between Centre and State. They could have kept it in some place or let it be another secret meeting. It is sad that RBI and its Governor are feeling the brunt of politics. This is what one feared.

The  press release reporting the Board meeting is as parsimonious as it could be:

The 562nd meeting of the Central Board of Reserve Bank of India was held on Thursday, December 15, 2016 at Kolkata. Dr. Urjit R. Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, chaired the meeting. Besides Deputy Governors Shri R. Gandhi, Shri S.S. Mundra and Shri N.S.Vishwanathan of the Reserve Bank of India, the other Directors of the Central Board of the Reserve Bank present at the meeting included, Shri Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Shri Bharat Doshi and Shri Sudhir Mankad. The meeting was also attended by Government nominee director on the Central Board Smt. Anjuly Chib Duggal, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.

The Board reviewed the current economic situation, global and domestic challenges and other specific areas of operations of the Reserve Bank of India.

Later, the Governor called on the Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal and discussed region specific issues.

I mean that is it! One expected some information/clarity from the Board on the boiling issue. I mean the more you are silent on these issues, the more murkier the whole thing is becoming..

The press release also said it was the 562nd such meeting! It will be useful if RBI could release basic information of all 561 meetings for a historical research purpose. It will be nice to analyse and see the changes in discussions over a period of time. More importantly, the member and presence of the Board members in the meeting will be a useful thing to figure from a governance angle.


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