RBI Governor Urjit Patel resigns

Anna Jefferson
December 11, 2018

Governor Urjit Patel announced Monday that he was stepping down from his post, effective immediately.

The Reserve Bank of India has lost its second chief in less than three years, raising questions about the central bank's independence and the management of the economy going into an election year.

"Though he (Patel) has cited as personal reasons for quitting, obviously there must have been some other reasons for his resignation", Rangarajan said. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future. "The manner in which RBI governor has been forced to quit is a blot on India's monetary and the banking system", Patel said on Twitter. Speculation over his resignation began last month after a rift between the Centre and the central bank became public.

"Financial stability is not there..."

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Patel had taken charge as Governor on September 4, 2016, for a three-year term, following Raghuram Rajan's decision not to seek a second term which had nearly become the norm with earlier Governors. He previously served as the RBI's deputy governor.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Monday appreciated the service rendered by RBI Governor Urjit Patel saying it was a pleasure to deal with him and has benefitted from his scholarship.

But the 55-year-old Patel, who Monday announced his decision to step down as the RBI governor, almost nine months before his three-year term was to come to an end, meticulously conducted the "deep surgery" initiated by his predecessor Raghuram Rajan to clamp down on loan defaulters, while seeking to safeguard the Indian banking system from any collateral damage.

Tension between the finance ministry representatives and RBI started with a circular on February 12.

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The person said a range of factors could have been behind Patel's resignation and there was no trigger in particular. "Dr. Urjit Patel is a thorough professional with impeccable integrity".

RBI Governor Urjit Patel and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mutually made a decision to appoint Bimal Jalan as the chairman and Rakesh Mohan as the vice-chairman of the panel. The prime minister has to persuade Patel that he can not leave in the larger public interest, he said. He leaves behind a great legacy. "We will miss him immensely", Modi said.

According to sources, the government will soon initiate the process for appointment of new RBI Governor following the sudden resignation of Patel on Monday. The RBI Governor has resigned because he is protecting the institution of the RBI and he is not able to function.

The issues that brought them head on included appropriate size of reserves the central bank must maintain, easing of lending norms to ease liquidity rules certain sectors and guidelines for weak banks.

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The Modi government has stacked the RBI's 18-member board with its own nominees, in what critics say is a move to exert greater control over the central bank's regulatory powers.

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