Refusing to comment on intense speculation over his tenure extension, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on Wednesday said he has very “cordial” relations with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his long term desire is to go back to the academia.
Rajan, who has been outspoken on various issues, also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ending government’s interferences in public sector banks.
Terming his relationship with the government “extremely cordial,” the Governor said “there has never been a serious disagreement between me and Arun Jaitley”.
“Its extremely cordial. Whether its Mr (P) Chidambaram (former Finance Minister), whether its secretary to government, whether Mr Jaitley whether it is any body else, all conversations are respectful of each other’s position and informative,” he told TV Channels.
Refusing to talk about his extension, Rajan said: “I cannot confirm or deny. As the FM has said, wait for the announcement. My tenure is till September 4. So between now and then the announcement will come.
“My long term desire is to go back to academia for teaching, for research and for thinking. This would be my best destination,” he said.
On BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s comment that he is “mentally not fully Indian”, Rajan said, “there are certain allegations which are fundamentally wrong and baseless” and addressing them would amount to giving them legitimacy.
“I think when you think about Indianess, when you think about love for your country, it’s very complicated thing. For every person there is a different way that you show respect for your country…my mother-in-law will say karmayogi is the way to go-do your work.”
He further said that he “welcomes genuine criticism of our policy but will not address ad hominem attacks” or allegations against him as individual instead of the policies and the position he holds.
Attributing only a few stray cases of bad loans to money changing and phone calls from politicians, he said, there were variety of reasons including global slowdown, cessation in governance for sometime and irrational exuberance in some cases for the mounting non-performing assets.
“There were enough candidates to blame for what went wrong,” he said.
“My sense is that that has been largely done by this government. I think the Prime Minister said at Gyan Sangam two years back, intervention ie public programmes we will ask public sector banks to participate in, but no interference, no phone calls. By and large my sense is that it has diminished,” he added.