Controversy over Raghuram Rajan 'tenure' extension…

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 (M S Shanker)

Raghuram Rajan, the Reserve Bank Governor, is in media limelight due to Senior BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy’s objections to extension of tenure and continuance in the office.

Subramaniam Swamy has raised pertinent questions.  What surprises me is media silence to debate the most relevant issue.  Why did the UPA government in the first instance appoint a “US Green Card” holder to the highest banking post of Governor of Reserve Bank of India?

Is it due to the incompetence of Reserve Bank Deputy Governors that the Government has to appoint an external individual to the highest post?

If none of the Deputies are considered suitable for promotion to the appointment of Governor of Reserve Bank, surely there were other eminent financial experts available in the country to be appointed to the highest post in the banking domain.

Did the UPA government short list candidates and considered appropriate criteria before selecting and appointing Raghuram Rajan as the Governor of RBI? Where was the need to import a ‘dual citizenship’ holder like Raghuram Rajan?  Why didn’t the UPA government lay down condition before considering Rajan as Governor asking him to renounce his US citizenship?

Is it not fair on the part of Raghuram Rajan to renounce his “Green Card” status on assuming the appointment of RBI Governor to avoid partisan recriminations later?

Even now, it is never too late for Raghuram Rajan to renounce the “Green Card” status to facilitate the extension of appointment by another three years if considered favorably by the NDA.  If he does not do so, as gentlemen of high repute and caliber, which every on claims Rajan is, he should gracefully quit and revert back to U.S.

Dual citizenship also implies dual loyalties – both to the USA and India.

No wonder, Raghuram Rajan has made unsavory comments when the whole world, including premier institutions like World Bank and IMF, describing India as ‘one of the fast growing nations’.  His most disturbing latest comment is “one-eyed man King in land of blind’, besides others, which contradicts the statements of rest of world premier financial bodies.

Subramaniam Swamy, after successfully targeting and embarrassing people like Jayalalitha and A Raja, in the past over graft charges and put “Chidambaram” and ‘Gandhi’s’ on his ‘radar’, his latest salvo fired at none other than the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, indeed needs to be viewed in a holistic perspective in  media debates to spread greater awareness among people.

Among other scams and ‘hara-kiris’ that came onto public domain during the decade long Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, the appointment of Raghuram Rajan as Governor, now comes under the scanner with the startling revelations of his dual citizenship by Swamy.

Be that as it may, what is the track record of Raghuram Rajan as Governor of RBI?  Has he discharged his oversight and monitoring functions properly?  Had he done so he should have brought to books all the Chariman’s of the defaulting Banks who sanctioned thousands of crores to people like Vijaya Mallya.

What action has he initiated to recover bad loans from fraudster in the garb of crorepathis?

One may also be forced to ponder over economic crimes that committed during the UPA-I&II tenure.  The classic case of Vijay Mallya fleeing the country duping public sector banks can be the best example to cite of Rajan’s failures as Governor of RBI.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may refuse to endorse or comment on his own party colleague and renowned economist Subramaniam Swamy’s demand to sack Rajan for his ‘cross purpose working style’ which is bound to cause damage to India’s growth engine, but the fact remains that Rajan has committed ‘hara-kiri’ by continuing with his US citizenship while holding such country’s highest office.  Better late than never, if at all he has any self-respect and uphold his credible image, he should forthwith give up US citizenship.

Well, he may be great economist and the right person to head RBI.  Yet, that is debatable.  As sacking of Rajan at the fag-end of his career may be embarrassing to the government as well nation, yet the Modi government can demand Rajan to give up his US citizenship, if he wished to be considered for another term.   Or else, people will not forgive Modi for undermining other competent economists in the country.

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