No doubt, Raghuram Rajan is one of the finest Governors of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). His exit is bothering many. However, it’s good that he is leaving on high note creating vacuum and carrying his dignity. Otherwise, BJP leaders like Subramaniam Swamy took him for granted. They might accuse him for anything to everything, if they fail. Still, world won’t end here for this classy governor. He has decided to go, and some other will fill the post.
India is full of talented people to be the central bank’s governor and there are refined economists, who can bring economical boom if given a chance. So, please be ready for changes and that’s how, India can grow without one-man worship.
In a three-sentence message on social media website, Jaitley said the government appreciated the “good work” done by Dr. Rajan. Wonder who will be the new governor?
Going by the recent appointments made, such as Gajendra Chauhan, a C grade actor as Chairman of FTII, Chetan Chauhan, who holds the dubious distinction of taking 25 minutes to score his first test run and being the first cricketer to score 2000 runs without scoring a century, as Chairman of NIFT and Pahlaj Nihalini, the celluloid butcher as Chairman of the CBFC, it will be somebody way below RR’s caliber. Subramaniam Swamy might be still eyeing the post but he is most hated leader for his hate mongering speeches. He is most unfit person at such stature.
Selection process notwithstanding, the success or otherwise of the person selected for a post depends on many factors. Mr. Rajan was selected for the post when the condition of finances was rather in doldrums, and the only way was up, which he accomplished with appreciation. Now, someone less caliber person will take over the chair. He might do better or worse, but still there will always be post mortems of his/her work. T N Seshan has been a prime example. He showed what a dedicated bureaucrat could do, but failed to even get a few votes when he stood for the president’s post, for which we thought him to be the most suitable. Perhaps, it has something to do with the cosmological chart!
Now, it is very important to question that who will be the next RBI Governor? The best option could be to elevate Urjit Patel who seems to have gained good experience working with two Governors. Also, he seems to have acquitted himself quite well in the Reserve Bank and got used to work in RBI which is known to be “data dependent” on its decisions. He will manage the transition better than others who could step in at this stage. More importantly, he is young enough. In fact, C.D. Deshmukh, Rangarajan and Yaga Venugopal Reddy had the experience of working as Deputy Governors before stepping in as a Governor. In RBI, it is better to know in advance on which executive to depend on for quality work.
Next in the list are Subir Gokarn, U.K. Sinha, Kaushik Basu, State Bank of India chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya are among the long list of names emerging as contenders for the post. Financial Services Secretary Hashmukh Adhia’s name is also doing the rounds as a surprise inclusion in the list of probables.
The SBI chairperson Ms. Bhattacharya has steered the largest bank in the country ably since she took over in 2013. Despite the rise in bad loans in the last two quarters following an asset quality review process mandated by the RBI, the health of SBI is better than that of other public sector banks. Under Ms. Bhattacharya, the SBI has also kick-started consolidation among public sector banks, with its decision to merge its five associate banks within itself.
Patel has been serving as deputy governor of the central bank for more than three years. The previous UPA government appointed Rajan and then his tenure was extended by current NDA government last year, indicating the present dispensations with the economist. A committee under his chairmanship had proposed inflation targeting and the setting up of a monetary policy committee to which the government has agreed.
Mr. Adhia may also be considered as, given the government’s intentions around banking reforms and consolidation among public sector. Mr Adhia, as financial services secretary, is credited with banking reforms such as Gyan Sangam and Indra Dhanush as well social security schemes of Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna, Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojna and Atal Pension Yojana, as also for the scheme of micro-financing — the Mudra Bank.
Whosoever fills the post, government should be firm on the priorities for the next governor before deciding who is best for the job. Handling the huge NPA inflation targets setting and pursuit, lending for growth, powers authorities in handling NPA, India needs a person with experience in handling these priorities.
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