Don’t play with India’s economic sovereignty: Congress to Modi

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday accused the Narendra Modi government of playing with India’s economic sovereignty by trying to demolish the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and seeking transfer of Rs 3.6 lakh crore or one-third of the central bank’s reserves.

The Congress said if the “unprecedented” demand by the Modi government was allowed to materialise it would tantamount to the “great Indian bank robbery”.

“Rs 36,00,00,00,00,000, that’s how much the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) needs from the RBI to fix the mess his genius economic theories have created. Stand up to him Mr. Patel. Protect the nation,” Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted ridiculing Modi’s economic policies that have messed up the Indian economy, urging the RBI Governor Urjit Patel to resist the Centre’s demand at all cost.

Later addressing the media, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said: “The RBI has been strongly resisting the unprecedented demand by the government. But if this demand were to fructify, this would tantamount to great Indian robbery.”

Citing reports that the Modi government “may have invoked” section 7 of the RBI Act to get its wish fulfilled, Tewari said such a move was unprecedented and reflected the government’s bid to demolish the central bank’s autonomy.

“This is going to have a profound implication on the macroeconomic stability of India as it is the RBI’s autonomy which provides confidence to foreign and Indian investors with regard to the stability of the Indian economy.

“The Modi government wants to demolish that confidence and demolish the RBI in the process,” said the former Union Minister asserting that the Congress would strongly resist the government’s move to demolish the RBI autonomy.

Tewari alleged that the Modi government was seeking the money to dole out freebies ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“The Modi government is prepared to play with the economic sovereignty of India and the reasons for it are the mounting fiscal and current account deficits.

“The government revenues are not growing because the economy has shrunk because of their policies. In order to bridge the fiscal deficit, the government has started eying the RBI reserve.

“What is even more disturbing is they want to use the money to give out freebies before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” said Tewari accusing the Modi government of playing with India’s national interest.

He said that the RBI was extremely concerned over attempts to curb its economy and “if the push comes to shove”, then all options including legislative and judicial were open for it to safeguard the Indian economic sovereignty.