Economist Urjit Patel to be new RBI deputy governor
Economist and public finance expert Urjit R Patel is set to be named as the Reserve Bank of India’s deputy governor in charge of monetary policy, replacing Subir Gokarn who left office on December 31 after a three-year term and a one-month extension. Sources said finance minister P Chidambaram has approved Patel’s name for the crucial post as recommended by a panel comprising governor D Subbarao and department of financial services secretary DK Mittal. A formal announcement is expected shortly.
Patel — now a consultant with Boston Consulting Group — is credited with over a decade’s experience in the Indian financial sector with a focus on funding private infrastructure projects.
For Patel, a PhD in economics from Yale University and an MPhil in economics from Oxford University, the assignment is a homecoming of sorts, as he had an earlier stint with the central bank as advisor. He also worked with the finance ministry for a while, making him the ideal choice for deputy governor who has to do a fine balancing act in monetary policy formulation.
Patel’s task in assisting the governor in monetary policy-making is, however, not going to be easy, with the government and the RBI not exactly on the same page on whether the time has come to cut interest rates.
The RBI held on to the repo rate (8%) last revised in April, at its October and December policy reviews, although a day before the October review, finance minister P Chidambaram had
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