Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi had called former Reserve Bank of India Governor, Urjit Patel a snake who sits over a hoard of money. According to the book written by former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg’s book” We Also Make Policy”.
Urjit Patel became the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in December 2018. He did not serve his term of three years as the Governor.
It is alleged that he had to face the anger of the Prime Minister and the then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Despite his suggestions and advice, the BJP-led government did not agree with him regarding many issues, especially the control over nationalized banks. He accused the government’s inability to shed regulatory authority over nationalized banks.
He also had friction over the Narendra Modi government’s electoral bond scheme. Urjit had insisted that these should be only issued by the RBI and that too in a digital mode. For which the government did not agree with him.
Added to that, Urjit wanted to work independently without any pressure from the government. But the BJP government did not want to do. He was in constant friction with Arun Jaitley. The BJP-led government did not adhere to any of his solutions. Arun Jaitley also called out of frustration called Urjit Patel’s solutions as ‘totally impractical and generally undesirable’.
According to the book Garg, during a meeting convened by PM Modi on 14 September 2018.
Patel gave a presentation in which he gave some solutions including the scrapping of long-term capital gains tax, scaling up disinvestment targets, approaching multilateral institutions asking them to invest in the government of India bonds, and paying up the pending bills of several companies.
In his book, Garg claimed that Jaitley said, ‘Snake who sits over a hoard of money
Subsequently, the Prime Minister was sick of the situation. Though he listened to the RBI governor’s presentations carefully and patiently, he attacked Urjit Patel on RBI’s stand. He said that the resolution of “intransigent, impractical and inflexible attitude to finding solutions”, Garg’s book revealed.
The prime minister, Garg added, compared Urjit Patel to the “snake who sits over a hoard of money, for being unreceptive to putting RBI’s accumulated reserves to any use”.