rbi urjit patel meeting mpc monetary december invite criticism modi govt india intolerance debate stanley pignal the economist correspondent mumbai india news
The headquarters of the Economist editorial offices in London, Britain, August 12, 2015. The publication's Mumbai correspondent Stanley Pignal said he was not invited for the post-MPC press meet by the RBI on Wednesday (December 7, 2016) since he was critical of RBI governor Urjit Patel.Reuters file

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) decision not to invite the Mumbai correspondent of the Economist is evoking mixed responses on micro-blogging site Twitter. Stanley Pignal, the correspondent, said criticism of RBI Governor Urjit Patel in the wake of the demonetisation decision could have prompted the move.

"I've been critical of the new governor not speaking to press, did not expect RBI to freeze us out of press conference. It's their call obviously," he tweeted.

"Amazing to go from being granted interviews of @RBI governor in June to excluded from press conferences in November, no warning/explanation," he said in another tweet.

In its December 3 issue, the magazine had carried a story -- "Modi's attempt to crush the black economy is hurting the poor" -- and criticised the silence of Urjit Patel over the developments following the decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

"But there may be lasting damage to institutions, most notably the RBI itself. It failed, among other things, to warn the impatient Modi that there were not enough new notes to replace old ones. It has issued a bewildering blitz of complex and sometimes contradictory instructions to banks.

Its governor, Urjit Patel, has been perplexingly silent. Its reputation for probity, competence and independence is in tatters," the publication said.

Pignal also questioned Patel's decision when someone compared to the governor's outspoken predecessor Raghuram Rajan.

In fairness, Pignal also said that the RBI denied any link between the denial to the post-MPC press conference on Wednesday and the article published.