Your editorial, “Crisis at Mint Road” (December 11), reflects the concerns of stakeholders quite well. The pressure on the Reserve Bank of India to submit to the priorities of the government even at the cost of autonomy has been in focus for quite some time. So it is not unexpected — but definitely unfortunate — to lose an astute economist who led the RBI bravely even during the high pressure situation of demonetisation and its aftermath. Though the superiority of the legislature in democratic governance cannot be ruled out, institutions consciously built over a period of time to independently manage certain functions must be left free to do so. They should be allowed to remain neutral to political ideology or priorities of the government. Any effort to tamper with their autonomy can mar the reputation and diffuse the overseas confidence about the continuity of policies critical in a globalised economy.
The next litmus test would be finding an equally well equipped professional to lead the RBI and not to pursue the issues that led to the crisis. The RBI should be best left to take a call on various issues so that the observers at home and abroad could be convinced that India does not jeopardise the autonomy of institutions that safeguard the national treasury.
K Srinivasa Rao director, NIBSCOM, Noida
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