Urjit Patel to succeed Raghuram Rajan as next RBI Governor

Sunday, Aug 21, 2016,11:25 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Ending months of speculation, Urjit Patel, a Deputy Governor at the RBI, was Saturday named as the next chief of India’s central bank to succeed outspoken Raghuram Rajan, whose tenure was marked with tough measures to control inflation and headline-making statements.

52-year-old Patel, who has been overseeing the monetary policy department at RBI under Rajan and has been known as his ‘inflation-warrior’, will have a three-year term, an official statement said here.

Having worked with the International Monetary Fund, Boston Consulting Group and Reliance Industries among other organisations, Patel will take over after Rajan completes his three-year stint on September 4.

He will be among the few with a corporate background to become RBI Governor, the top post at the Mint Street that has been previously held by mostly career bureaucrats or economists at academic institutions.

While Rajan’s exit has been seen in many quarters as driven by his often candid views against various policies of the government, Patel’s appointment as the 24th RBI Governor may end up ensuring continuity of the monetary policy of the current Governor.

Rajan, who went on to earn a reputation of being an outspoken critic on various economic and even non-economic issues, was under attack in recent months from some quarters including BJP MP Subramanian Swamy for what they termed as his priority on inflation control at the cost of growth.

53-year-old Rajan would end up among those with the shortest tenure as RBI Governor.

Ironically, it was Patel who headed a committee on Monetary Policy Reforms that suggested a medium-term target on inflation and a glide-path to achieve the number.

It was this report that led to the signing of an agreement on inflation targeting between the government and the central bank.