RBI Governor race: SBI chief keeps guesswork alive

All RBI Governors in recent past had got second term — C Rangarajan (1992—97), Bimal Jalan (1997—03), YV Reddy (2003—08) to D Subbarao (2008—13). Mr. Rajan will break that chain.

July 29, 2016 05:36 pm | Updated October 18, 2016 01:01 pm IST - New Delhi

SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya file photo.

SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya file photo.

Keeping the guessing game going, SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya on Friday stated that her name being considered for RBI’s Governor’s position is media speculation as she is “not saying anything” on it.

Responding to a media query on the most talked about succession race to the Mint Street corner office, Ms. Bhattacharya said: “I am not saying anything. You people are the ones who have been speculating. You people have been writing about it.

Have I ever said anything [on the issue].”

Incumbent Governor Raghuram Rajan’s 3-year term will come to an end on September 4, as he last month announced that he would return to academia and not seek a second term.

There are many names which have been doing rounds for the post including the SBI chief. Others said to be in the fray include Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian and the RBI’s current Deputy Governor Urjit Patel.

Mr. Patel got 3-year extension as RBI Deputy Governor in January.

Traditionally, the Prime Minister names the RBI Governor after consultation with the Finance Minister. The same process is likely to be followed this time around with Mr. Modi choosing Rajan’s successor after consulting Arun Jaitley.

Mr. Rajan, who will have the shortest tenure as RBI Governor since liberalisation began in 1991, decided not to seek a second term after unbridled political attacks on him, led by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy.

All RBI Governors in past 23 years have got second term — from Dr C Rangarajan (1992—97), Bimal Jalan (1997—03), YV Reddy (2003—08) to D Subbarao (2008—13). Mr. Rajan will break that chain.

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