Various news reports had emerged recently that the Reserve Bank of India has been selling gold from its reserves for the first time in a long while. According to the Economic Times report, the RBI since the beginning of July bought gold worth $5.1 billion and sold about $1.15 billion of the yellow metal. However, tweaking its headline a bit, the ET had reported that RBI has begun to sell some of its gold again despite their own reports suggested that RBI had bought more gold rather than selling from its reserves.
RBI has begun to sell some of its gold again https://t.co/4zuOM5P9QN
— ET Commodities (@ETCommodities) October 25, 2019
However, on Sunday, the Reserve Bank of India released a statement refuting media reports which had stated that they have been selling or trading in gold lately. The RBI clarified that it has not sold any gold or trading in it.
Reports have appeared in certain sections of media that RBI has been selling/ trading in gold of late. It is clarified that RBI has not sold any gold or trading in it. (1/1)
— ReserveBankOfIndia (@RBI) October 27, 2019
The central bank further stated, “The fluctuation in value depicted in Weekly Statistical Supplement (WSS) is due to change in frequency of revaluation from monthly to weekly basis and is based on international prices of gold and exchange rates.”
The RBI’s response comes as the ET report had reported that the central bank appears to have started trading in gold more actively since adopting the Bimal Jalan report. The Jalan committee was set up last year in the wake of the debate over sharing the RBI’s surplus income with the government to fund its deficit.
In a hurry to corner the Reserve Bank of India and the Modi government, some sections of the media and leaders of the opposition parties used this misleading report to suggest that an unprecedented economic situation has arisen and the RBI is selling its gold reserves as a countermeasure to it.
The so-called ‘economists’ and ‘journalists’ went on to imply that the condition of the Indian economy is so bad that the Reserve Bank of India is eyeing to sell country’s gold reserves to monetise other resources to fight the slowdown.
In 2009, the RBI had bought back from IMF all the gold that Yashwant Sinha had sold during the 1991 crisis. But the RBI (to be able to remit larger dividends to Modi Govt perhaps?) has begun selling from its gold reserves again. pic.twitter.com/t3oBXVzSyx
— Puja Mehra (@pujamehra) October 25, 2019
Swati Chaturvedi, a troll masquerading as a journalist insinuated that RBI is resorting to selling reserves, which according to her indicated a bad economic situation.
Yashwant Sinha was subjected to feral attacks by the Bjp when gold reserves were mortgaged to the Bank of England. How bad is the economic situation now that the RBI resorts to this? https://t.co/Mh4QV8FhXD
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) October 26, 2019
Controversial left-wing lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, who is also notoriously known for peddling fake news often, resorted to spreading his propaganda by claiming that the government after taking away Rs.1.76 lakhs from the RBI reserves, RBI is selling its gold reserves.
After the govt takes away 1.76L Cr of its reserves, RBI starts selling its gold reserves! BPCL, other profitable PSUs & Railways, a bankrupt government is now on a selling spree of our assets! pic.twitter.com/7G0KHW5iI7
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) October 25, 2019
Soon, others followed similar propaganda to target the RBI and Modi government. Citing ET’s misleading report, the trolls resorted to relate the ‘imaginary’ situation to the 1991 balance of payment crisis.
For the first time in 30 years, the RBI has been selling some of its gold. The last time India had to tap into its gold reserves was during the 1991 balance of payments crisis when India ran out of money to service its imports. How bad is the current economic situation really? 😳 https://t.co/KJQUYQ2vBn
— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) October 26, 2019
Now, with the Reserve Bank of India calling out the ET report, one is yet to see how many journalists issue retractions.