India taps insider as new RBI head

Patel himself produced the target of four percent consumer price inflation, with CPI now topping 6 percent. Patel was shortlisted by the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee, chaired by the Cabinet secretary, though the final appointment was made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister.

His views on monetary policy were expressed at the time Rajan held rates in the February 2015 review after making an unexpected rate cut the previous month - the first in almost two years.

Patel has had a ringside seat to policymaking over the last three years. Stating that the job of the RBI governor is not just monetary policy, Das said the central bank head is also the regulator of banks and NBFCs.

Dr. Urjit R Patel has been appointed as the New Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a period of three years with effect from 4th September 2016. The response to his comments was much appreciated, and in January 2013, he became was appointed the RBI deputy governor office. Mr. Patel himself is known as an "inflation warrior", and brings with him valuable experience that includes stints with the corporate sector besides his work at the International Monetary Fund like his predecessor.

With Patel at a helm, not only will the RBI get its first foreign-born chief, it will perhaps also be for the first time that a former corporate honcho will lead the Indian central bank.

"He [Patel] should continue to work with the government on reducing long-term inflation expectations and maintain stability in the currency", said Mihir Vora, chief investment officer of Max Life Insurance in Mumbai.

Kenya-born Patel undertook his academic pursuits from leading global institutions of learning-Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1963, an M. Phil from Oxford University (Great Britain) in 1986, and a doctorate from Yale University (US) in 1990. "It brings to mind an old African saying that when elephants fight, the grass suffers", Patel said at the press conference to announce the policy review, on the trend of accommodative monetary policies being adopted by developed economies.

Till the government appoints a replacement for Patel as the deputy governor, it will have to appoint one among the three DG - R Gandhi, SS Mundra, and NS Vishwanathan - to oversee the critical monetary policy aspect in the interim. Currently, the governor alone sets interest rates but a new six-member panel will take over before October. He was also the president of Business Development at Indian diversified group Reliance Industries Limited between 1997 to 2006. The change will not entail any amendment to the RBI Act and can be done by issuance of executive orders by the ministry of home affairs.

Vanessa Coleman

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