demonetisation

It's important one grows a thick skin fast: Urjit Patel

PTI10_4_2016_000154B [File photo] Urjit Patel

RBI Governor Urjit Patel seemed unfazed by criticism of the way the note ban was handled, and said the central bank has grown a thick skin fast doing its job. He stressed the economy will make a "sharp V" recovery after a short drop.

Patel, who took over the reins of the RBI just two months before the note ban, said the remonetisation has been done at a "very quick" pace and the central bank has managed to bring the situation to normal.

"It is important that one grows a thick skin fast in this business and I think we have done that. We have gone about our work, we had undertaken major challenges during these past few months and valid criticism is something that we are open to and we take it in the spirit in which it is given and try to improve ourselves," he said.

Patel said everyone agrees that not just the RBI, but the wider banking system has done a "Herculean job" over the last few months when there were many challenges.

On the impact of demonetisation on the economy, Patel said: "Almost everyone agrees that the impact is going to be a sharp 'V', that we would have a downgrade of growth for a short period of time."

He added: "However, the remonetisation has happened at a fast pace and that was part of the plan that subsequent to the withdrawal of the specified bank notes, our production plans and supply processes would ensure the remonetisation happened as quickly as possible, which given our capacity in terms of printing currency notes, is at a high level."

The RBI had lowered its economic growth forecast last week for the current fiscal to 6.9 per cent from the previously projected 7.1 per cent, but saw it bouncing back in a big way to 7.4 per cent in 2017-18.

Patel said the benefits of junking 86 per cent of currency in circulation, effected on November 9 last year, will take time to fully play out and needs more work to ensure they are lasting. 

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