Finance minister Arun Jaitley, who held a meeting with the board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Sunday, said he hoped that the central bank would take a decision on interest rates after considering all sides.
“I, on the same evening already issued a statement and I think that’s very clear….this an issue that the RBI decides and I am sure they factor in various circumstances,” Jaitley said at a press meet after the meeting.
The central bank has made no changes in interest rates in the two policy reviews it has announced (on June 3 and August 5) since the NDA government took charge, but companies have been clamouring for a rate cut to push stagnating economic growth.
RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, who was present at the press meet, said the government’s policy to contain retail inflation is on target. “We are contingent on the data coming in,” he said.
Jaitley also said that the government could look at putting in place more stringent measures to help further tighten systems and to prevent any Syndiate Bank-like incident.
“I think banks already know what they are to do. If some stringent steps are required, certainly it will be done,” Jaitley said in reply to a question on whether fresh steps would be put in place in the wake of the scandal. “But what was allegedly happening (in Syndicate Bank) was certainly in contravention of the legal framework, it was a crime... we don’t need a fresh policy to decide that,” he added.
“As far as the department of financial services is concerned, it has put the process of law in motion. The actions which are required in terms of suspending those suspected of delinquency, it has already been done,” he said.
On disinvestment, Jaitley said “The department of disinvestment (DoD) has already appointed advisors in some cases and the follow-up actions is already progressing as scheduled,” he said. The government has already initiated the disinvestment process in ONGC and NHPC. It is also looking to sell a 5% stake in SAIL.