New Delhi:The Central government on Tuesday announced the appointment of Satish Kashinath Marathe and Swaminathan Gurumurthy as part-time non-official Directors on the central board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
According to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, the appointments have been made for a duration of four years from the date of appointment or "until further orders".
As per an information note issued on Tuesday, the appointment proposals were forwarded by the Department of Financial Services of the Union Ministry of Finance.
The Editor of the weekly Thuglak is a Chartered Accountant and an economist. A regular commentator on various economic and political developments in the country, Gurumurthy is also the co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, an RSS affiliate that lends thoughts on various economic issues.
Gurumurthy has also been reported of being a visiting faculty at IIT Bombay, and a Distinguished Research Professor for Legal Anthropology at SASTRA University.
He confirmed his appointment on twitter.
Story of my appointment as director RBI. This is the first directorship ever. Never accepted any private or PSU directorship. Not even audit of PSUs or Pvt cos. Wanted to be free to speak. But when pressure built up I am needed to do something in public interest I had to accept.— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) August 8, 2018
His elevation as a government nominee to the RBI boarad has raised brows. Although, being an economist and a Chartered Accountant lends to his selection, a handful media reports questioned the government move owing to his strong political affiliations.
Twitter has been buzzing majorly owing to his support of the government's demonetisation move.
In his article, published in The Hindu, he supports the demonetisation move. In the story dated November 9, 2017, he finds the move as a "fundamental corrective to the economy", akin to the liberalisation undertaken by the Narasimha Rao government in 1991.
My article on Demonetisation in The Hindu today https://t.co/FM77jLjX8p Demonetisation: the great reset, a year later says Thuglak Editor & Visiting Professor at IITB & SASTRA University, S.Gurumurthy— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) November 9, 2017
Besides demonetisation, he has also been vocal of the RBI's various moves and political movements in the country. Here are some of them.
Mr Arvind Subramaniam who was fighting the RBI when in govt has now started praising Rajan to sail with the global wind. Arvind was asking Rajan for rate cut. Rajan declined. Rajan made it difficult for the successor to do it except at the risk of seeming to surrender to the govt https://t.co/Lk7ROi6HwF— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) July 12, 2018
Japan followed NPA solutions like India does now through RBI & IBC in 1999-2000. In 2010 Japan realised IBC model was wrong. They should have allowed the bank to restructure. See https://t.co/nsVeVuxTfW. But Rajan made restructure a crime. India has been doing it for decades https://t.co/IewJmTUOGQ— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) July 12, 2018
India is a bank driven economy like Japan and Germany. Not equity driven economy. RBI ignored it. Imposed rules of equity driven economy on the country. This is totally unsuitable to India.. https://t.co/UwDpWO2wjg— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) July 12, 2018
RBI ignored 4 differentials: non convertibility of Rupee, no foreign control of Indian banks, govt control of 70% bank deposits, 25% bank deposits being in govt securities. No banking system has this kind of protection. Still RBI imposes Basel norms totally unsuitable to India https://t.co/VqCJnRA4oI— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) July 12, 2018
Raghuram Rajan destroyed the RBIs independence by making it subservient to global thought rather than pursue India centric solutions. The RBI can't now move away from that line for fear of going against global financial opinion. RBI has lost its capacity to think for India https://t.co/sTMLddKbrW— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) July 12, 2018
Marathe is the founder of Sahakar Bharati, an NGO that works to support cooperatives. In his 40 year long association he has served the United Western Bank, Thane Bharat Sahakari Bank Ltd, rajkot Nagarik Sahkari Bank, Jankalyan Sahakari Bank, as well as served as the hon secretary of the Indian Banks Association and Vice President of the Private Sector Bank's association.
Marathe in his youth has been associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, India’s largest student organisations affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He served as its treasurer for four years.
The RBI central board is seperate from the RBI's Monetary policy committee and does not deliberate on interest rate discussions. But being a forum for discussions, it can involve talks ranging from dividend policies to even operations of banks and even banking regulations.
Congratulatory messages have been pouring on Twitter. Some questioned the government move, while others said RBI needed some Indian educated economists.
Here are some of them:
@Jairam_Ramesh On 17th January 2018, in Chennai ThinkEdu #YBReddy ExGovernor @RBI Praveen Chakravarty &myself argued for having Indian educated economists. With appointment of Shri @sgurumurthy and Shri Satish Marathe as RBI Directors we have gone a step forward tx @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/KvRSPYbtAE— ASHWANI MAHAJAN (@ashwani_mahajan) August 8, 2018