New Delhi: Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel told the parliamentary panel on demonetisation that discussions between the central bank and the government on the process began early last year.
Congress members of the committee asked questions like whose decision it was to withdraw high currency notes and also raised questions about the autonomy of the RBI, sources said.
Patel also told the panel that Rs 9.2 lakh crore have been reintroduced in the economy since the old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were demonetised on November 8 last year.
According to the Economic Times, Patel refused to answer questions on how much money has been deposited in banks since the move was announced. Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Roy told the Economic Times, “Patel was unable to tell us how much money has come back to the banks.”
BJP members of the panel, headed by Congress leader Veerappa Moily, however, chose not to raise queries during the meeting, they added.
The questions put up by the panel ranged from the total amount of money that came back during the demonetisation period to the total amount of new bills of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 that were printed and sent to the banks.
It is also learnt that Manmohan Singh, one of the members who had described demonetisation as a monumental management failure, too raised questions on the issue.
Sources said Patel told the parliament standing committee on finance, which is looking into the demonetisation, that discussions between the central bank and the government have been taking place since early last year.
The finance ministry has sought time from the panel to provide answers to the queries raised during the meeting in which the finance secretary made a presentation before the committee, the sources said, adding that the members seemed not too satisfied with the replies.
The crucial meeting was held to discuss the “demonetisation of Indian currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 and the impact thereof”.
Patel is also scheduled to appear before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on the same issue on January 20.