Money & Banking
CRR row: RBI's Subbarao doesn't see end in sight during his term!

While the SBI chairman termed the statement of the Governor Subbarao as 'a joke', Dr Charkabarty said the SBI chief is not ready to listen to the regulator, and there cannot be any regulatory issues

 
Mumbai: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Duvvuri Subbarao played down the cash reserve ratio (CRR) controversy between his senior most deputy and the nation's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI), saying that he is not too sure whether the two will sink their differences before he demits office, reports PTI.
 
SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri's call last week for abolishing the mandatory CRR had attracted a sharp reaction from RBI Deputy Governor KC Chakrabarty. CRR is the amount of deposits that banks park with the RBI as a prudential measure without earning interest on it.
 
Chakrabarty had this week frowned on Chaudhuri's contention saying, "If the SBI chairman is not able to do business as per our regulatory environment, he has to find some other place."
 
In his first public comment since the controversy began on 23rd August, Subbarao told bankers at a FICCI-IBA seminar, "I have an important announcement to make. Late last night I signed off a paper forming a committee. The terms of reference for the committee are whether we should continue with CRR or not. Members of the committee are Dr Chakabarty and Shri Pratip Chaudhuri.
 
"Process of the committee will be that both of them will be locked up in a room until they reach a conclusion and the time frame is that they will not submit their report till my term as governor is over," Subbarao told the audience in a lighter vein.
 
After the speech, when asked if he was serious or joking, Subbarao retorted: "What do you think?"
 
However, both Chakrabarty and Chaudhuri continued their spat publicly at the same venue, after Subbarao left.
 
While the SBI chairman termed the statement of the Governor as "a joke", Charkabarty said the SBI chief is not ready to listen to the regulator, and there cannot be any regulatory issues.
 
"The debate is on. I think he (Governor) meant it as a joke. Of course, I hold the view it (CRR) is not helping anybody," Chaudhuri said.
 
To this, Chakrabarty retorted: "First make up your mind whether you want to listen or not. You don't want to listen to my views. I have made it very clear that there is no question of a debate on a regulatory issue," the deputy governor retorted.
 
However, he continued to add that "jokingly, we can have a mock fight. I've no problem; he (SBI chief) is a good friend."
 
On 23rd August, Chaudhuri had said in Kolkata that the RBI should either do away with CRR or compensate banks for the losses incurred, as banks are not earning any interest on it.
 
Pegging the loss of banks due to CRR at about Rs21,000 crore, out of which Rs3,500 crore to his bank alone, he said, "CRR does not help anybody and it is unfairly put on the banks. Why is CRR not applied to insurance and other companies who are mobilising deposits from the public?
 
Calling for its phase out within a reasonable time-frame, he said that would release scarce capital resources which will help the banks in reducing rates for the industry.
 
But this had invited a sharp reaction from Chakrabarty.
 
Yesterday, Chaudhuri again reiterated his view saying it (CRR) lacks reason and added that merely citing some existing rules do not justify their practice.
 
"I feel that though people have said that it cannot be done, there have not been enough grounds to say why? Just to argue that this is the rule and this is the law... I do not think it is the best way to justify a particular set of (rules)."
 
By doing away with the CRR, which is currently pegged at 4.75%, and on which banks earn no interest, the banking system can get as much as Rs2.6 lakh crore lendable money.
 
There has been a public debate ever since Chaudhuri spoke of the need to do away with the CRR last week. The worst criticism came from the regulator itself.
 

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COMMENTS

nagesh kini

4 years ago

Gurpur has elucidated in an article in these columns at length why the concept of CRR Kenysian era monetary measure in a costly NPA.
The RBI Dy. Governor's remark on the SBI Chief is absolutely in bad taste. There was nothing wrong in the latter expressing his views. The DG has gone overboard for nothing.

Maharashtra preparing policy for senior citizens

The draft policy includes provisions like setting up state-level welfare board and district co-ordination committees for senior citizens

 
Mumbai: The Maharashtra Government is giving final touches to a policy for senior citizens and its draft will be placed before the Cabinet soon, reports PTI.
 
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told this to a delegation of senior citizens which met him recently.
 
Chavan assured the delegation that the Government would sympathetically consider their demands for health insurance scheme and increase in pension.
 
The Chief Minister said his Government has provided several facilities like pension for elderly persons from BPL families and free travel in MSRTC buses.
 
He said the draft policy includes provisions like setting up state-level welfare board and district co-ordination committees for senior citizens.
 
The delegation urged the CM to make provision for a separate Ministry for senior citizens' welfare, setting up recreation centres for them and lowering the age criteria for MSRTC bus travel concession to 60 from 65 years now.
 

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HC not to stay implementation of safety rules for school buses

The High Court while refusing to stay implementation of the safety rules for school buses said every parent is concerned about the safety of their children when they go to school and this of paramount importance

 
Mumbai: Refusing to stay implementation of the safety rules for school buses, the Bombay High Court has said safety of children is paramount and everyone should ensure it, reports PTI.
 
"Everybody should fall in line now. Every parent is concerned about the safety of their children when they go to school and this of paramount importance," a division bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Amjad Sayed said.
 
The bench was hearing a petition filed by School Bus Owners' Association challenging the safety rules on the grounds that it was technically not possible to follow them.
 
The petitioners sought an order restraining the government from initiating coercive action against them.
 
The court, however, refused to do so and posted the matter for further hearing on 10th September.
 
Government pleader DA Nalawade submitted the state's affidavit defending the policy. The affidavit by Satish Sahasrabudhe, Joint Transport Commissioner said that the provision for an additional exit door, which had been opposed by the bus operators, had been dropped in the final policy.
 
He further said that speed governors were awaiting a final decision by the state. He also added that the provision for fire extinguishers had been recommended by the fire department.
 

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