Ex-RBI chief had come back from US to exchange scrapped notes

Even a former RBI governor could not escape the pain of exchanging the scrapped notes last year.

Though the process started during his governorship, Raghuram Rajan had come back to India to exchange scrapped currency as he had no clue about the demonetisation date, media reports said.

Rajan, who ended his three-year term as RBI Governor on September 4 last year, said he had taken some Indian currency with him to the US.

He added that he was not in favour of demonetisation as according to him the short-term cost of note ban would outweigh the long-term gains.

The former RBI Governor, currently professor of finance at the University of Chicago, was speaking at an event to launch his book ‘I Do What I Do’.

Rajan reportedly said he was asked about his views on demonetisation by the government in February 2016 and he “gave it orally”.

“There was absolutely no date fixed for demonetisation,” Rajan was quoted as saying when asked if he too was taken by surprise on November 8, 2016 that Rs 500/1000 notes have been scrapped.

He reportedly said he had taken along Indian currency to the US and had to come back to India to “actually change that back” into valid currency notes.

Asked if he would be willing to return to India for another position or was happy teaching in the US, PTI quoted Rajan as saying that he is not special among the diaspora and there were many people who, if called upon, would come back and do what is necessary.

“Many of us have certainly fairly comfortable lives there…coming back to India and doing what I did, gave a tremendous sense of fulfilment…I think it’s very selfish thing to come back. Ya, if called upon…and if there is a place where you can make a big difference, of course,” he reportedly said.

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