Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the public sector banks had the 'worst phase' under the combination of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan. Delivering a lecture at the Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in New York , Sitharaman said, 'I'm taking a minute to respond... I do respect Raghuram Rajan as a great scholar who chose to be in the central bank in India at a time when the Indian economy was all buoyant. It was in Rajan's time as governor of the Reserve Bank that loans were given just based on phone calls from crony leaders and public sector banks in India till today are depending on the government's equity infusion to get out of that mire. Dr Singh was the Prime Minister and I'm sure Dr Rajan will agree that Dr Singh would have had a ‘consistent articulated vision' for India. With due respect, I'm not making fun of anybody but I certainly want to put this forward for a comment which has come like this. I have no reason to doubt that Rajan feels for every word of what he is saying. And I'm here today, giving him his due respect, but also placing the fact before you that Indian public sector banks did not have a worst phase than when the combination of Singh and Rajan, as the Prime Minister and the governor of Reserve Bank, had. At that time, none of us knew about it.'
Published On: Oct 16, 2019