Rajan’s deputy Urjit Patel to take over as RBI governor Sindhu and Sakshi strike gold as rewards pile up
FOR 3 YEARS Seen as close lieutenant to outgoing guv, Patel likely to ensure policy continuity
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Urjit Patel will take over as the central bank’s new head, the government announced on Saturday, potentially signaling its intent to continue with the reforms initiated by outgoing governor Raghuram Rajan.
An elated India Inc hoped as much, saying that Patel, 52, was the right man to take over from Rajan, who stunned financial markets in June by announcing he would step down in September and return to academia after a single threeyear term at the RBI.
“The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the appointment of Dr Urjit R Patel as governor, Reserve Bank of India for a period of three years,” the government said in a statement, ending more than two months of speculation over Rajan’s successor.
Patel — who once compared RBI to an owl which is “vigilant when others are resting” — headed a panel that recommended landmark changes to monetary policy in India, including a switch to inflationtargeting and the creation of a panel to set interest rates.
“Thank you everyone for your warm wishes! I will give my best to live up to the expectation of people,” a tweet from an account believed to be of Patel said.
The account was not verified though Union finance minister Arun Jatiley sent out a congratulatory message tagging the Twitter handle.
“I’m sure he will successfully lead the Reserve Bank & contribute to India’s economic development,” Jaitley said.
Patel will assume office as the 24th RBI governor on September 4, the day Rajan’s term ends.
As India’s top banker, Patel’s primary duty will be to keep prices stable and ensure credit flow to companies and individuals. He will lead a team of about 17,000 and draw a salary of about Rs2,00,000 per month besides allowances and perks.
The RBI regulates banks, prints money and prevents volatility in the foreign exchange market. It is also the government’s banker and lender of last resort.
Urjit Patel is expected to keep up the central bank’s war on inflation as he prepares to take the helm next month. The current monetary policy framework was steered by Patel as he headed a committee that in 2014 recommended targeting retail inflation to tame unstable prices, shifting the focus away from wholesale prices.
During a distinguished career, Patel has been with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) between 1990 and 1995 and worked at the US, India, Bahamas and Myanmar desks. He was on deputation (1996-1997) from the IMF to the RBI and provided advice on development of the debt market, banking sector reforms, pension fund reforms, real exchange rate targeting and evolution of the foreign exchange market.
PV Sindhu arguably fought the most intense battle of her sporting career for an Olympic silver medal at Rio.
Back home, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are locked in a game of one-upmanship over the badminton star.
As rewards started to flow for badminton star PV Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik, who ended the country’s interminable wait at the Games with bronze in the 58kg category, the two states are apparently aiming to outdo each other to show their appreciation for the Olympic heroes.
The Telengana government led the list, declaring cash award of Rs5 crore as well as 1000 sq yards of land for Hyderabadbased Sindhu, besides a job to her. Rao also declared a cash prize of Rs1 crore for Sindhu’s coach Pullela Gopichand for his badminton academy.
The announcement at a news conference came hours after his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu promised Rs3 crore for Sindhu, who ran world No 1 Caroline Marin of Spain close before losing in the almost 90-minute final. Telangana was carved out of Andhra in 2014 after a long — and occasionally violent — agitation, intensifying the bitter political rivalry between Rao and Naidu.