RBI’s Urjit Patel nominated for this global award; ‘Not flamboyant as Raghuram Rajan but action-oriented’

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Published: October 25, 2018 2:10:46 PM

While Patel was, initially, criticised for his silence on demonetisation, lately economists and experts have lauded him for taking a tough stance on important issues.

Patel was quieter, appearing a man better suited to analysis than action. In office, he challenged that assumptionPatel was quieter, appearing a man better suited to analysis than action. In office, he challenged that assumption (Image: Reuters)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel has been nominated for the ‘Central Banker of the year – South Asia’ by Global Capital for his focus on controlling inflation, bank clean-up, and willingness to voice his opinion on the global stage.

“When Patel took over the RBI in September 2016 the contrast with his predecessor, Raghuram Rajan, was stark,” the news, opinion and data service organisation Global Capital said. “Rajan, referred to as a ‘rock star’ by some parts of the India media, was flamboyant. Patel was quieter, appearing a man better suited to analysis than action. In office, he challenged that assumption,” Global Capital said.

Patel’s “determination” to clean-up bank balance sheets has impressed Global Capital. The nominator said that Patel ticked three important boxes for deserving the award: active monetary policy, prudent banking reforms and a newfound willingness to use his voice on the global stage.

“Patel, despite his reputation for quiet reflection, has also rather loudly defended the interests of emerging market economies,” said Global Capital, indicating to the Finance Times article, in which the RBI governor urged the US Fed to slow its balance sheet reduction.

The RBI governor, indeed, has been tough on regulation. It was under him that the long-pending NPA resolution began. Moreover, the two back-to-back rate hikes in June and August also showed his commitment to keeping inflation in check.

While Patel was, initially, criticised for his silence on demonetisation, lately economists and experts have lauded him for taking a tough stance on important issues. New agency PTI recently called him ‘wise owl’ of the mint street, taking the cue from his own words: “An owl is traditionally a symbol of wisdom. So, we are neither doves nor hawks, but owls and we are vigilant when others are resting.”

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