Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted on Monday expressing their appreciation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel, who resigned citing personal reasons.
“Dr. Urjit Patel is an economist of a very high calibre with a deep and insightful understanding of macro-economic issues,” Mr. Modi tweeted. “He steered the banking system from chaos to order and ensured discipline. Under his leadership, the RBI brought financial stability.”
“Dr. Urjit Patel is a thorough professional with impeccable integrity,” Mr. Modi added. “He has been in the Reserve Bank of India for about six years as Deputy Governor and Governor. He leaves behind a great legacy. We will miss him immensely.”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted: “The government acknowledges with deep sense of appreciation the services rendered by Dr. Urjit Patel to this country both in his capacity as the Governor and the Deputy Governor of the RBI. It was a pleasure for me to deal with him and benefit from his scholarship. I wish Dr. Patel all the very best and many more years of public service.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that Mr. Patel was eased out by the Centre to bring in a “more pliable” person to occupy the post. “RBI Governor Urjit Patel has been eased out since he refused to allow the Modi govt to plunder ₹three lakh crore of RBI reserves. Now Modi govt will get a more pliable RBI governor who will allow this loot,” Mr. Kejriwal tweeted.
“This has never happened before. This is unprecedented. We are deeply concerned. The RBI is the custodian of public money. The credibility of all institutions is being destroyed. This is a financial and economic Emergency. Let us cherish the ‘idea of India’ for which our freedom fighters laid down their lives. Our people and our great institutions must strive to remain “independent”, in the true sense of the word,” West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee tweeted.
The Governor’s resignation comes at a time when relations between the RBI and the Finance Ministry has publicly deteriorated, with differences erupting between the two over the central bank’s autonomy.