Michael Debabrata Patra fills in Viral Acharya’s shoes; appointed as RBI’s fourth Deputy Governor

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Updated: January 14, 2020 11:50:44 AM

The government appointed Michael Debabrata Patra as the RBI’s fourth Deputy Governor on Tuesday. Michael Patra, who is currently Executive Director with the Reserve Bank of India, will fill in the post left vacant by Viral Acharya last year.

Reserve Bank of India, RBIMichael Patra will serve as the Deputy Governor for three years tenure from the time of his appointment.

The government appointed Michael Debabrata Patra as the RBI’s fourth Deputy Governor on Tuesday. Michael Patra, who is currently Executive Director with the Reserve Bank of India, will fill in the post left vacant by Viral Acharya last year. He will serve as the Deputy Governor for three years tenure from the time of his appointment, unless notified otherwise, RBI said. Michael Patra has joined as Deputy Governor at a time when the economy is going through tumultuous times. 

Viral Acharya’s exit

The Reserve Bank of India has four deputy governors but the post fell vacant after Viral Acharya left the post pre-maturely in July 2019, six months before the end of his tenure. Viral Acharya had a spate of clashes with the government, after which he tendered resignation. His exit was widely anticipated after his ‘wrath of the markets’ speech in October in 2018. In this speech, he emphasized the need for the autonomy of central banks. “Governments that do not respect central bank independence will sooner or later incur the wrath of financial markets, ignite economic fire, and come to rue the day they undermined an important regulatory institution,” he had said in his speech. However, he later cited “unavoidable personal circumstances” as the reason for quitting. 

“I think this resignation was well expected after his speech in October, where he warned of dire consequences for the central bank or for India if the independence of the central bank was threatened,” Surjit Bhalla, Chairman, Oxus Investments, told CNBC TV-18 then. Currently, three deputy governors are presiding RBI namely NS Vishwanathan, BP Kanungo and MK Jain.

To fill the position, the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointment Search Committee (FSRASC) shortlisted seven names who were called for an interview in November 2019, PTI reported. The panel also had Shaktikanta Das who is the current RBI governor, Financial Services Secretary and some other independent members.

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