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Urjit Patel As RBI Governor Is A Vote For Continuity, Say Experts

Hailing Urjit Patel's appointment as RBI Governor as 'vote for continuity', India Inc and experts are unanimous that he is an excellent choice for the top job at the central bank when the economy is passing through a crucial phase

Photo Credit : Reuters


Hailing Urjit Patel's appointment as RBI Governor as "vote for continuity", India Inc and experts are unanimous that he is an excellent choice for the top job at the central bank when the economy is passing through a crucial phase.

"We all are very happy. Being a colleague, he brings great continuity and familiarity. He has a clear understanding of what is going on," said RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra.

Patel's colleague further said every new leader will bring his or her own thinking.

"There could be some addition, (in) some processes little bit changes. It's normal in transition. We are looking for great continuity and that provides great comfort," Mundra said, adding that the appointment means that it is business as usual from the day one and "ensures smooth transition".

Patel was today appointed the next Governor after Raghuram Rajan demits office on September 4. He was first appointed Deputy Governor for three years in January 2013 and was given extension this January.

Welcoming the appointment, SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said: "Patel has been at the helm of institutionalising the inflation targeting regime in the monetary policy framework. His appointment signals continuity of policy intent, both on part of RBI and the government."

Bhattacharya was one among the seven names speculated to succeed Rajan as the 24th Governor.

Infosys founder and IT doyen N R Narayana Murthy, who had earlier pitched for a second term for Rajan, said Patel is the "right man" to succeed the incumbent Governor.

"He is the right man to succeed Raghuram Rajan. Who better than him to see what needs to be done to stimulate growth and contain inflation?" Murthy asked.

Industry chamber Ficci hoped that Patel will also ensure continuity of ongoing initiatives at RBI.

"We are confident that RBI and the economy will gain tremendously from Dr Patel's experience in both private and public sectors," said Ficci's President Harshavardhan Neotia.

Director General of industry body CII Chandrajit Banerjee said: "CII is confident that the new Governor will lead the central bank and take its developmental and regulatory agenda to new heights."

Mahindra and Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra tweeted: "A very astute move. He's young, qualified and experienced. Above all, signals policy continuity. Markets should exhale.

Former RBI deputy governor K C Chakrabarty stressed on the need for continuity in the central bank's policies. Rajan recently remarked that there are several unfinished tasks.

"It's the best that has happened. He is competent and he will be able to deliver," Chakrabarty said, adding that Patel having worked in the system understands the environment, circumstances and policy measures "much better".

Government think-tank NITI Aayog's CEO Amitabh Kant felt that Patel is a "great choice" and has good understanding of microeconomic scenario of India.

Commenting on the appointment, noted economist Jagdish Bhagwati said: "Dr Urjit Patel is a terrific choice. A student of the great Indian economist, Professor T N Srinivasan, and also a macroeconomic expert trained at Yale, Patel will be an ideal Governor who can take over with distinction and continuity from Dr Raghuram Rajan."

According to industry body Assocham, Patel's appointment "clearly sends a strong signal" that the government is keen on completing the unfinished agenda of cleaning up of PSU banks' balancesheets and allowing the banks to work with professionalism and transparency.

Former advisor to erstwhile Planning Commission Pronab Sen said: "This is indicative of continuity. International investors will like that."

NRI billionaire and Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal expressed hope that the new Governor will continue the policy of the incumbent Rajan.

Listing out challenges before the new Governor, Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said RBI will have to deal with external factors like currency volatility, Brexit and forthcoming US elections.

Welcoming the appointment, Vallabh Bhanshali of Enam Securities Patel is a "perfectly understandable choice".

Sajjid Chinoy of JP Morgan expressed hope that there will be no "knee-jerk" change in policy while former CFO of technology firm Infosys Mohandas Pai dubbed it as a "great decision" on part of the government.

MD and CEO of Yes Bank Rana Kapoor saw Patel as an "outstanding choice".

Director and Chief Investment Officer of Max Life Insurance Mihir Vohra suggested that the new Governor needs to reinforce and continue the faith that the external world and Indian markets have in independence and objectivity of the central bank.

"He should continue to work with the government on reducing long-term inflation expectations and maintain stability in the currency," he said.

Sunil Godhwani, Whole-time Director and CEO, Religare Enterprises, expressed hope that Patel will continue the good work of balancing inflation while encouraging economic growth.