Parliamentary panel set to quiz RBI Governor on Note Ban

RSTV Bureau
FILE: Mumbai: People stand in long queues outside a bank to exchange their old Rs 500 and 1000 notes in Bhiwandi, Mumbai in Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016. Photo - PTI

FILE: Mumbai: People stand in long queues outside a bank to exchange their old Rs 500 and 1000 notes in Bhiwandi, a week after note ban, Nov 16, 2016.
Photo – PTI

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has sent a detailed questionnaire to the RBI Governor Urijit Patel seeking his response on the issue of demonetisation. Patel is asked to appear before the Parliamentary panel on January 20.

There are reports that PAC may seek Prime Minister’s reply if it is not satisfied with the answers given by top finance ministry officials and the RBI Governor Urjit Patel.

“We have not yet received answers for the questions we have sent to them. They will reply few days before the January 20th meeting. Their replies will be discussed in detail,” PAC Chairman and senior Congress leader KV Thomas said.

Along with the RBI Governor, Union Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das have also been called at the January 20 meeting.

File photo of RBI Governor, Urjit Patel speaks during a presss conference announcing the RBI monetary policy in Mumbai on Wednesday, 07 December, 2016.

File photo of RBI Governor, Urjit Patel speaks during a presss conference announcing the RBI monetary policy in Mumbai on Wednesday, 07 December, 2016.

Among key questions posed by the Parliamentary panel are, who were involved in the decision-making?, how much money has come back into banks after demonetisation?, is there a law that can restrict people’s access their money?, how much money has been pumped back into the system?, if black money issue has been addressed and the impact on the economy and poor?.

The PAC, which scrutinises the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), takes suo motu note of the important matters.

On the question if the PAC would call the Prime Minister if replies were not satisfactory, Thomas said, “The committee has all right to call anybody involved in the matter. But that will depend on the outcome of the January 20th meeting. We can call PM on demonetisation issue if members unanimously decide”.

Commenting on the extents and authority of the PAC, the Chairman said, PAC decided to call the top officials involved in the decision making process this month, adding that the demonetisation has impacted the country’s economy.

(With inputs from the PTI)