Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan made an impassioned reference to the need to bring back those financial fraudsters who have fled India, at a speech delivered at the University of California Berkeley on November 9.
The economist, who is currently a professor at the prestigious Chicago Booth School of Business, was speaking more openly than at any time since demitting office at India's central bank, and raised 'criminals who cocked a snook at our at the Indian system and vanished' while pressing for the the need to improve government capacity.
He began by making note of where the Indian economy stood globally, saying, "Now India is the world's third-largest economy by PPP and around the fifth by GDP -- we're on par with England and sometime this year we'll overtake the UK. Given that we're up there, we really need a capacity to have a first world administration."
He elaborated on how India currently doesn't have that capacity and how this reflects, "Certainly in our discussions at the WTO, at various other places, where we're defending our national rights, we need to have the national capacity. But we simply don't have that capacity -- all too often we lose our cases there because we've not made the right representation."
At this point, upping the ante, he says, "We aren't even able to get those criminals who cocked a snook at the Indian system and vanished abroad -- we can't bring them back because we can't persuade those judicial systems that they should be brought back to India for trial. Which one of them has been brought back? No one right?"
He then sums up, opining on the nature of the deficiency, "So we need to improve government capacity. We don't have enough specialists, insufficient training, and certainly, not enough motivation, not enough morale. And this is a problem."
At it turns out, this isn't the first time that Raghuram Rajan has been vocal about stating the need to bring back financial fraudsters. In his response to the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates regarding NPAs, in September, he had revealed the RBI's efforts towards this during his time:
"The RBI set up a fraud monitoring cell when I was Governor to coordinate the early reporting of fraud cases to the investigative agencies. I also sent a list of high profile cases to the PMO urging that we coordinate action to bring at least one or two to book. I am not aware of progress on this front. This is a matter that should be addressed with urgency."
Recently, the CIC issued notice to current RBI Governor Urjit Patel and the PMO to release the letter by Rajan containing the list.