Reserve Bank of India
India reported a fall of $1.46 billion in its foreign exchange reserves for the week ended Feb. 19. Picture: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) logo pictured outside its head office in Mumbai, India.REUTERS

Nearly 17,000 employees of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are looking to go on a mass leave for one-day on 19 November to protest against the government's proposal to reduce the central bank's activity and role in monetary policy decisions.

The United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees has decided to go on a "Mass Leave" on 19 November, AIRBEA General Secretary Samir Ghosh told PTI.

"With the proposed mechanism of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the government plans to intervene and themselves decide monetary policy, which has been the exclusive jurisdiction of the RBI so far," he said.

The protest is likely to disrupt the settlement activity in the country's banking system on the day of the RBI employees' proposed stir.

Last month, the government had reportedly circulated a draft note in which it proposed to scrap the RBI governor's veto power in deciding interest rates. The draft note recommended formation of a seven-member committee to decide the monetary policy in the country.

"The cease-work programme is intended, inter alia, to strongly oppose the government's current moves to cripple the RBI in the name of the draft financial code and legislative reforms," said a United Forum release.

Under the existing mechanism, the RBI governor consults a technical advisory committee before deciding on key policy rates, while having the discretion to accept or reject the recommendations of the committee.

"The Finance Ministry is reportedly giving final shape to shift the government's debt management functions from the RBI to the proposed Public Debt Management Agency, which will also henceforth function as depository of government securities, thus taking away from the RBI some vital operations having relevance to the money market as well," it added.

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