Reserve Bank of India (RBI) employees will go on mass casual leave on November 19 to protest the government’s proposed policies which will take away from the central bank some of its vital operations “in the name of the draft financial code and legislative reforms”.

The United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees, the umbrella organisation of four recognised unions of officers and workmen staff in RBI, has decided a day’s ‘Mass Leave’ on November 19 by around 17,000 workforce, AIRBEA General Secretary Samir Ghosh told PTI.

The draft Indian Finance Code (IFC) has proposed re-aligning of the powers of the RBI vis-a-vis the finance ministry through the composition and functioning of the monetary policy committee that would be responsible for setting rates.

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

This is a big shift from the current practice where the RBI governor decides on the interest rate, although he consults the Technical Advisory Committee on policy rates that includes the Bank’s deputy governors as well as experts and economists.

The finance ministry is reportedly giving final shape to shift government’s debt management functions from RBI to the proposed Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA), which will also henceforth function as depository of government securities (G-Sec), thus taking away from RBI some vital operations having relevance to money market as well

The RBI staff has also been demanding improvement in pension conditions, under which pensioners are not entitled to periodic updation of pension.

Updation of pension was granted to pre-2002 retirees by the RBI Central Board, but the government withdrew it unilaterally, Ghosh said.

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