New Delhi, April 30 – Uday Kotak, Asia’s richest banker and CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, one of India’s largest banks, has slammed the US dollar, calling the US currency “the world’s biggest financial terrorist”.
“I honestly believe that the biggest financial terrorist in the world is the US dollar. All our money is in nostro accounts, and anyone in the US can say you won’t be able to withdraw it from tomorrow morning. And you’re going,” he said at the ET Awards in Delhi.
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Kotak stressed that the world is now “desperately looking for an alternative reserve currency” and indicated that it is time for India to make the rupee such a reserve currency.
“I don’t think Europe can (make its own reserve currency) because it is the assembly of European countries. I don’t think the UK or Japan would have the guts to take that stance, even though the British pound and the yen are both free currencies. I think China has a serious trust problem with many from countries all over the world.”
The bank chief noted that in order to create a global reserve currency, India must go a long way and build strong institutions.
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“It should create a structure that does not depend on anyone’s whims. The mechanisms must be reliable. India must be trusted. In US dollars, there is a line on every dollar bill ‘In God We Trust.’ We must have faith in India to make the rest of the world happy,” Kotak says. They are investing their money in an alternative currency to the US dollar. It is time to make an attempt that will probably take 10 years.”
In early November last year, the Indian government authorized the use of the rupee, its national currency, in international trade settlements to boost exports as part of its foreign trade policy. As noted by the Ministry of Commerce, these amendments have been made to simplify and facilitate international trade in Indian rupees, given the growing interest in internationalizing the Indian rupee.
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