Reserve Bank governor Urjit Patel escaped intense grilling by a parliamentary committee over the demonetisation issue on Wednesday, thanks to the intervention of former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Patel, who along with other RBI and finance ministry officials appeared before the parliamentary standing committee on finance, was put to some tough questions by members, sources in the committee said.
He could not reply to questions like when normalcy would be back in the banking system and how much of demonetised currency was deposited during the 50-day window that ended on December 30.
Before further grilling could start, Singh, who made a forceful speech against demonetisation in Rajya Sabha calling it a “monumental failure and organised loot”, intervened to say that the central bank and the governor’s position as an institution should be respected.
He should not be put to odd questions, Singh, who himself was the RBI governor once, reportedly told the committee.
Singh is understood to have told Patel that he need not answer a question put by one of the members relating to non-removal of cash withdrawal restrictions.