Note ban: Urjit Patel says metros and big cities fare better

In an interview with Bloomberg, the RBI governor said there are opportunities in country like India to speed up digitalization quickly

Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel, in an interview with Bloomberg, said at least the situation in metros and other big cities is stabilising after the demonetization announcement.

Urjit Patel broke his post demonetization silence two days back saying the central bank is monitoring the situation on a daily basis and taking all necessary actions to “ease the genuine pain of citizens.”

In an exclusive interview published on Monday, the RBI governor said the situation in metros getting better and the central bank is working on reducing the inconvenience to everyone in other parts of the country.

When asked about the effort to make India a cashless society, Urjit Patel said there are opportunities in country like India to speed up digitalization quickly.

“In such a transitional stage in a country like India, there are opportunities also to speed up digitalisation, use of debit cards, E-wallets etc quickly. Otherwise things take time. RBI and banks have played their role to catalyse this process by fee waivers and other steps,” he said.

Talking on the Trump impact on India, the governor said the U.S. presidential poll is significant in several ways given the pronouncement during the poll campaign.

“Two things are clear – the U.S. will be less open to trade in goods, services and outsourcing,” Urjit Patel was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

“Second, the U.S. federal government is likely to expand its fiscal deficit to fund infrastructure etc. Both these things will play out in the backdrop of monetary policy tightening currently going on,” he added.

Urjit Patel, who came under attack by the opposition for his silence over the raging issue, earlier earlier argued people to start using cash substitutes like debit cards and assured that currency is available saying “banks are working in a mission mode to take them to branches and ATMs.”