Speculation is rife on who will succeed Raghuram Rajan as RBI Governor with over a dozen names doing the rounds, a day after Rajan made a surprise announcement that he was not interested in a second term.
The names doing the rounds include Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian,World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu,Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, former Advisor to Finance Minister Parthsarathi Shome, BRICS Bank head K V Kamath, former RBI Deputy Governor Rakesh Mohan,Deputy Governor Urjit Patel, former CAG Vinod Rai and SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya,former Finance Secretary Vijay Kelkar, former CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla, former CEA Ashok Lahiri,economist R Vaidyanathan and Sebi Chairman U K Sinha.
A look at the profiles of the prospective candidates:
Among the speculated names, Urjit Patel has been known as ‘inflation lieutenant’ of Rajan at RBI, while Arundhati Bhattacharya’s tenure as SBI Chairperson also ends in September – the same month when Rajan would demit office.
Vinod Rai, the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India who is known to have flagged the 2G scam, is currently heading the newly-constituted Banks Board Bureau.
Like Rajan, U K Sinha was made Sebi Chairman during the previous UPA regime but was given a surprise and rare extension by the NDA government before his already extended tenure of five years was to end.
Rakesh Mohan said it is “premature to discuss” his candidature, while Arundhati Bhattacharya had yesterday said that “Raghuram Rajan is a person of very high caliber, who has built ably on the reputation of our central bank and given it a very large measure of credibility”.
A number of industry leaders and economists have said it would be a tough task ahead for the person who succeeds Rajan as the next RBI Governor.