Mumbai, July 23 (IANS) The government nominees on the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) are to be paid Rs 1.5 lakh per meeting along with air travel and other reimbursements, according to a decision taken by the RBI.
The six-member MPC, constituted last year, has three persons appointed by the government while the others, including the Governor, are from the RBI.
The central government appointed members would “receive a remuneration of Rs 1,50,000 for devoting time and work for each meeting of the committee which they attend, and other expenses relating to air travel, local transportation and accommodation as may be decided by the central board from time to time,” according to the RBI’s latest regulations on the MPC’s functioning.
The regulations stipulated that all the MPC members will need to observe a “silent period” seven days before and after the monetary policy review meeting for “utmost confidentiality”.
“Members shall observe a silent or blackout period starting seven days before the voting/decision ray and ending seven days after the day policy is announced. During this period, they will avoid public comment on issues related to monetary policy other than through the MPCs communication framework,” the regulations said.
Moreover, members cannot reveal outside the committee any confidential information accessed during the monetary policy deliberations, the RBI said.
The three government nominees to the panel are Chetan Ghate, Professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, Pami Dua, Director at the Delhi School of Economics, and Ravindra H. Dholakia, Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
The RBI also asked MPC members to be mindful of any conflict between their personal and public interest while interacting with profit-making organisations or making personal financial transactions,
“While interacting with profit-making organisations or making personal financial decisions, they shall be mindful of, and weigh carefully, any scope for conflict between personal interest and public interest,” it said.
All members need to disclose their assets and liabilities and update this information once a year.
The RBI normally holds its monetary policy review once every two months and the latest regulations said the schedule of the MPC meetings for the entire financial year needs to be announced in advance.
Normally, at least 15 days of notice is required for convening a meeting, but an emergency meeting can be called with 24 hours notice for each member, while technology-enabled arrangements need to be made for meetings called at even shorter notice.
In this connection, the central bank has earlier said that the decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes was taken by the RBI board at 5.30 p.m. on November 8, which was less than three hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the measure to the nation.
Following the RBI’s latest policy review last month, Governor Urjit Patel told reporters here that the RBI Monetary Policy Committee had turned down the Finance Ministry’s invite for a discussion ahead of the panel’s policy review meeting.
The RBI maintained its key interest rate at 6.25 per cent for its fourth successive monetary policy review, dashing the government’s hopes of a reduction.