Centre picks insider Urijit Patel as next governor of Reserve Bank
Mumbai: Ending two months of intense speculation, the Union government on Saturday appointed Urijit Patel as the 24th governor of Reserve Bank of India ( RBI) for a period of three years. Patel, seen as a close aide of outgoing governor Raghuram Rajan and deputy governor in charge of monetary policy, will assume office on September 5, a day after Rajan’s term ends. He will be one among the few governors – after Manmohan Singh and Raghuram Rajan – to be appointed to the top post from outside the IAS circle.
How did the scales tilt in favour of Patel when there were equally qualified experts like Arvind Subramanian, chief economic advisor, or Shantikanta Das, economic affairs secretary? Was he handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself ? Of course, opinion among economists, bankers and other stake- holders are divided on these counts, though most experts opine that probably the government wanted a continuity in the monetary policies and didn’t want any disruptions by bringing in a new candidate.
The challenges before the new governor would be in continuing to keep his grip on inflation, helping banks strengthen balance sheets and bring in regulations that will ensure the stability of the financial system. Many believe that 53- yearold Patel’s prime focus will be to keep the galloping inflation under control though a granular surveillance on the interest rates.
Reserve Bank governor- designate Urjit Patel ( R) with present governor Raghuram Rajan at a news conference after the bi- monthly monetary policy review in Mumbai on August 9. — Reuters