Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan has apologised for a comment he made on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank conference which drew ire from Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
“I want to apologise to a section of the population, the visually impaired, who might be hurt by my statement,” Rajan said, on Wednesday.
He said, “my intent in saying ‘one-eyed king in the land of blind’ was to say that our outpeformance is in the midst of global weakness.”
While answering a question about Rajan’s views on India being called a bright spot amid the slowdown in the global economy last week, he had said, India was like the one-eyed king in the land of blind.
Elaborating on his statement, Rajan said, “I think we have still to get to a place where we feel satisfied. We have this saying — ‘In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king’. We are a little bit that way.”
On Wednesday, he clarified, that as a central banker, he cannot get euphoric with India’s economic growth rate. “We cannot get carried away by our own superior growth rate,” he said.
Rajan’s one-eyed king comment had not gone down well with Jaitley and Sitharaman, who, on separate occasions, had made a statement.
Jaitley, which answering a question about Rajan’s comment and India’s growth rate of 7.5%, said, “Compared to the rest of the world we are growing much faster, in fact the fastest. Compared to our own potential, we can do better.”
“I see a couple of variables (like good monsoon and reforms) — if they work to our advantage, we can do much better.” “Assuming we have a moderate monsoon or a good monsoon, I am sure we will improve upon our growth rates but I see no difficulty in maintaining the present one because of the thrust on the kind of economic activity going on in India, public investment, foreign direct investment, increased demand,” he added