Race for RBI guv in last lap

Written by Economy Bureau | New Delhi, Aug 27 | Updated: Aug 28 2008, 05:41am hrs
With little over a week to go before the term of the present Reserve Bank of India governor Yaga Venugopal Reddy ends on September 4, it seems the government has narrowed down its choices and is set to take a final call on Reddys successor in the next few days.

Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, whose name has been doing the rounds as a possible contender to head the countrys central bank, may not be in the fray after all. It is learnt that the Centre is considering picking either deputy RBI governor Rakesh Mohan or Finance Secretary D Subba Rao for the hot seat.

The RBI governors appointment is for a tenure of five years. Reddy had been appointed by the previous NDA government and rumours are doing the rounds that he may get another extension in view of maintaining a uniform monetary policy to tackle the record inflation levels. However, this may turn out to be a red herring as the Centre may declare the crucial appointment at the last hour, again.

Subba Rao is a 1972 batch IAS officer. Earlier, he was secretary to the Prime Ministers Economic Advisory Council. The other top contender, Mohan, has served two stints as RBI deputy governor, punctuated by a spell as secretary, economic affairs, in the finance ministry.