Millennium Post

RBI board needs to play like Rahul Dravid, not Sidhu: Raghuram Rajan

NEW DELHI: Amid reports of tensions between the Centre and the central bank over a host of issues, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan used a cricket analogy suggesting that the RBI board needs to play like Rahul Dravid, also called "Mr. Dependable", and "certainly" not like Navjot Singh Sidhu, a cricketer turned politician known for his "loud" comments.

In an interview with a news channel, Rajan said "Both sides have to listen to each other and respect each one's turf. What is more worrisome is the change in the role played by the RBI board in all this. RBI board is not an operational board, professionals supervisors or central bankers do not lead it. These are people from all the different box in life whose main role is to advise people, to council ... to play a Rahul Dravid, to coach in some sense. But not to make operational decisions and certainly not be loud like (Navjot Singh) Sidhu."

Rajan further said that "I'm very worried about the change in it as they (RBI board members) are supposed to be the wise people who bridge differences, rather than force greater ones. We've had excellent people on its board, and there are still very good people on those boards. So I would hope that they would come together to bridge these differences and reduce some of the noise that is coming. I don't think India should have a breakdown in the dialogue between the central bank and government."

On disclosure of wilful defaulters' names, Rajan said "Issue of fraud is not necessarily the same as willful defaulter. Wilful defaulter doesn't want to pay but hasn't run away with the money. The full arm of the law should be applied to bring frauds to book; it's work in progress."

On the issue of making the list of defaulters public, Rajan said that he is "not well-versed to understand why those names can't be made public".

With agency inputs

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