Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel, faced the possibility of an unprecedented action from the government over differences on a range of issues including autonomy, stepped down from his post on Monday citing "personal reasons".
"On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years. The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank's considerable accomplishments in recent years. 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," read a statement issued by Patel.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Patel is a thorough professional with impeccable integrity and he leaves behind a great legacy.
Dr Urjit Patel is an economist of a very high calibre with a deep and insightful understanding of macro-economic issues. He steered the banking system from chaos to order and ensured discipline. Under his leadership, the RBI brought financial stability.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 10, 2018
Dr. Urjit Patel is a thorough professional with impeccable integrity. He has been in the Reserve Bank of India for about 6 years as Deputy Governor and Governor. He leaves behind a great legacy. We will miss him immensely.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 10, 2018
"The Government acknowledges with deep sense of appreciation the services rendered by Dr. Urjit Patel to this country both in his capacity as the Governor and the Deputy Governor of The RBI. It was a pleasure for me to deal with him and benefit from his scholarship," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a tweet.
The Government acknowledges with deep sense of appreciation the services rendered by Dr. Urjit Patel to this country both in his capacity as the Governor and the Deputy Governor of The RBI. It was a pleasure for me to deal with him and benefit from his scholarship. (1/2)— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) December 10, 2018
I wish Dr. Patel all the very best and many more years of public service. (2/2)— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) December 10, 2018
Patel was appointed the 24th Governor of the RBI on September, 2016 for a three-year term.
His resignation was being speculated right from the time the government cited a never-before-used provision of the RBI Act to get him to consider its views on relaxing lending norms for segments such as small and medium enterprises, appropriate size of reserves the central bank must maintain and easing norms for weak banks.
Patel had more than eight months of the first three-year tenure left and was eligible for a second term as was given to several of his predecessors barring Raghuram Rajan.
Prior to taking over on September 6, 2016, he was a Deputy Governor overseeing the monetary policy department at the RBI under Rajan and was known as his 'inflation-warrior'.
Patel, who has worked with the International Monetary Fund, Boston Consulting Group and Reliance Industries, among other organisations, took over after Rajan completed his three-year term on September 4.
(With inputs from PTI)