NEW DELHI: For mer finance minister P Chidambaram on Saturday came out in support of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan, calling him “one of the most outstanding economists” in the world.
Chidambaram’s remarks came amid persistent attacks on Rajan by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy.
“I am beginning to think whether this government deserves Dr Rajan,” Chidambaram said when asked whether the governor should be given a second term. His three-year term ends in September.
Briefing reporters on the “failures” the NDA gover nment in the last two years, Chidambaram parried questions on Swamy’s attack on Rajan. He said the Congress will respond only if Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley speak against Rajan.
The main Opposition party on Friday dubbed Swamy’s attack against Rajan as “fascism and an assault” on the institution and not the individual.
PM Modi, on his part, told The Wall Street Journal on Friday that the issue of Rajan’s reappointment was an “administrative subject” and it should not be an issue of interest to the media.
In a letter to the PM a few days ago, Swamy had asked him to sack Rajan, charging that his insistence on high interest rate had led to recession in the domestic small and medium industries, causing not only a sharp decline in output but also massive unemployment of semi-skilled labour.
But Chidambaram defended Rajan. “The UPA government appointed one of the most outstanding economists of the world as the RBI governor. We placed full confidence in him at that time and we continue to place full confidence in him today,” he said.