Was open to extension, says Raghuram Rajan

RSTV Bureau
File Photo of PM Narendra Modi speaking to RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan during  80th anniversary of RBI in Mumbai.

File Photo of PM Narendra Modi speaking to RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan during 80th anniversary of RBI in Mumbai.

In what could be said as a comment having the potential to stir political debate, outgoing RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has said that he was open to staying a bit longer to complete the unfinished work of bank clean up. Rajan, who was subject to stinging criticism of senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy, however told he is perfectly happy to go.

Terming the political attacks aimed at him as abominable, Raghuram Rajan said was never worried about reappointment or a future career in government and did the best in the interest of the country and he was the “best team player”.

“Some of these (recent) attacks were abominable, that is imputing sort of motives, alleging things completely without any basis,” he told a Delhi-based news and current affairs news network on Wednesday.

In what became even a sticky issue for the Modi government, Subramanian Swamy launched a series of personalised attack on the RBI chief alleging that he was not “mentally not fully Indian” and sent confidential and sensitive financial information abroad.

On the question if he was open to the second term, he said there was some unfinished work like PSU banks’ balance sheet clean-up and setting up of monetary policy committee framework.

File photo of BJP senior leader, Subramanian Swamy in a light mood. Photo: PTI

File photo of BJP senior leader, Subramanian Swamy in a light mood.
Photo: PTI

“That does not mean in any way, that I was absolutely hell bent on having a second term… I was open for staying a little while longer to see them complete, but at the same time I was perfectly happy to go,” he said.

Detailing that 90-95 per cent of the job that he had taken on was complete and he had absolute freedom in doing his work, Rajan also told the news channel that the process of dialogue with the government did not reach a stage where he could have agreed to stay on.

As his 3-year tenure ends on September 4, he said “I have said again and again, I am fundamentally an academician. This (RBI Governor) is my side job,” when asked about his future plans.

Stressing that RBI is an entity which has conservative approach as focuses on stability, Rajan said that in taking decisions he did not worry about his future career prospects.

“Wherever we had to say ‘no’, I have never worried about reappointment, or about whether I will have a future career in the government or anywhere else. I have said ‘no’ when I think it is in the best interest of the country and I think in that way, I am being the best team player that I can possibly be,” he said in his interview.

(With inputs from the PTI)