Urjit Patel cites personal reasons, resigns as RBI governor

Finance Secretary A N Jha

In his statement, Patel said that he will step down from the governor's post with immediate effect and extended his wishes to the Central bank's staff and management.

Note: The entire text has been reproduced from the Reserve Bank of India website and has not been edited by Firstpost for clarity or style.

This owing to the series of tussles that the Reserve bank as an institution had with the centre.

Dr Patel's departure may lead to some anxiety among investors, especially foreign investors.

"This is something all Indians should be concerned about", Raghuram Rajan, Patel's predecessor as RBI governor, was quoted as saying by Reuters on Monday.

RN Malhotra was appointed as Governor in 1985 and in 1988 was given a three- year extension. "We will miss him immensely", said Modi.

On Urjit Patel's ouster, Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged the efforts he has taken to strengthen and stabilise the functioning of the central bank. It began when RBI deputy governor, Viral Acharya delivered a speech in which he had spoken about the need to ensure independence of the central bank.

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Modi showered praise on Patel following his resignation, calling him "an economist of a very high calibre" and a "thorough professional with impeccable integrity" in a statement on Twitter. It was a pleasure for me to deal with him and benefit from his scholarship.

Analysts and market watchers said the recent dispute between the RBI and the government could have been a major factor in Patel's decision to resign.

"The way the Reserve Bank is structured is that there is always at a given point in time a pecking order among the deputy governors", Mohan said.

RBI's part-time director S Gurumurthy tweeted that he was surprised by Patel's resignation.

He also claimed that the "The previous meeting was held in such cordial atmosphere that it comes as a shock".

The resignation came just days ahead of the December 14 meeting of the Board of RBI that was to take up issues like governance in the central bank. This development in the midst of a government-central bank tussle over autonomy, reserves to be maintained by RBI and liquidity concerns. "That makes it even more surprising".

He also wanted the government to give the RBI more powers over public-sector bank boards.

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