MUMBAI: Urjit Patel who took over as the 24th Governor of Reserve Bank will have a tough task in maintaining the legacy of his predecessor, Raghuram Rajan, and balance the need to contain inflation without hurting growth.
Patel assumed charge effective September 4 after serving as deputy governor since January 2013, RBI said in a statement today.
He was reappointed as deputy governor on January 11, 2016, after the completion of his first three-year term in office.
Ensuring undisruptive redemption totaling USD 20-25 billion, getting used to the idea of Monetary Policy Committee and bank cleanup are the main challenges before the new Governor.
According to Rajiv Kumar, Senior Fellow at Centre for Policy Research, the first task before him is to get used to the idea of working with the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
“He has to devise a way of working with the committee and getting to the objective of meeting inflation target. Besides, containing food inflation is another challenge before him,” Kumar said.
If food inflation raises its head again then what strategy he will employ to contain it, he asked.
Besides, he should work in a manner that RBI versus the Finance Ministry situation is avoided as all the components are working towards inflation control and employment generation and finally what approach he will adopt to clean balance sheet of the bank or strengthen banks.
Among his assignments as deputy governor, Patel chaired the Expert Committee to Revise and Strengthen the Monetary Policy Framework.
“Representing India, he actively participated in steering the signing into force of the inter-governmental treaty and the Inter-Central Bank Agreement (ICBA) among the BRICS nations, which led to the establishment of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), a swap line framework among the central banks of these countries,” RBI said. . Patel has also served at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He was on deputation from the IMF to RBI during 1996-1997, and in that capacity he provided advice on development of the debt market, banking reforms, pension reforms, and evolution of the foreign exchange market.
He was a Consultant to the Ministry of Finance from 1998 to 2001. He also had other assignments in public and private sectors, including with Reliance Industries, IDFC Ltd, MCX Ltd and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation.
Dr Patel, as he is commonly referred to as, has worked closely with several central and state governments high level committees. These include the Task Force on Direct Taxes, the High Level Expert Group for Reviewing the Civil & Defense Services Pension System, the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Infrastructure, the Group of Ministers on Telecom Matters, the Committee on Civil Aviation Reforms and the Ministry of Power’s Expert Group on State Electricity Boards.
He has several publications in areas of Indian macroeconomics, monetary policy, public finance, financial sector, international trade, and regulatory economics, the RBI said.
Patel has a PhD in economics from Yale University, an M Phil from University of Oxford and a BSc from the University of London.–PTI