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RBI spared no expense in hosting Raghuram Rajan

Author: Abhinandan Mishra
Publication: Sunday Guardian Live
Date:  June 13, 2020
URL:      https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/rbi-spared-no-expense-hosting-raghuram-rajan/comment-page-1#comment-196247

Spent more on transporting his household goods than what it paid him as salary in three years.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) spent almost Rs 71 lakh in shifting the household items of its former Governor, Dr Raghuram Rajan from Chicago to Mumbai and back when he was appointed the Governor in August 2013 and continued in the position till his tenure ended in September 2016.

Interestingly, Rajan’s salary during his tenure was Rs 1.69 lakh per month, which means that the RBI spent more on transporting his household goods (Rs 71 lakh) than what they paid him as salary for the entire three years (Rs 61.2 lakh approximately).

As per its response shared by the RBI to an RTI query filed by this newspaper, an amount of Rs 2,226,416 was spent on shifting Raghuram Rajan’s household goods from Chicago, Illinois, US, to Mumbai, while an amount of Rs 4,941,253 was spent on shifting his household goods back from Mumbai to Chicago (Illinois).

As per the RBI, no specific rules are prescribed on transfer of household goods of the Governor/employees from anywhere in the world and hence the decision-maker at the RBI took an internal decision “specific to the case”, “keeping all relevant circumstances in view” in Rajan’s case.

The RBI also gifted five paintings to Rajan as a farewell gift, the reply received stated. As per rules, the outgoing Governor is entitled to farewell gifts to the value of Rs 50,000.

Responding to The Sunday Guardian’s queries, the RBI stated: “There was no demand made by Dr Rajan in lieu of a gift of the amount of Rs 50,000. However, as indicated by him, old paintings—four by Govind Dumbre and one by Gopal Adiverkar—from the Governor’s bungalow were gifted to him in lieu of a corporate gift.”

The painting by Dumbre measured 15×15, while the one by Adivekar measured 16×20. The price of the painting, which has been quoted by the RBI in its reply, is Rs 10,000 per piece. However, online platforms specialising in selling paintings, were selling Dumbre’s painting for more than Rs 1 lakh per piece.

The RBI also spent Rs 13,474 on fitting an air conditioner in the bathroom of the Governor House when Rajan was in office.

 

 
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