Cen­tre picks in­sider Uri­jit Pa­tel as next gov­er­nor of Re­serve Bank

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Manju AB manju. ab@ dnain­dia. net

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

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