Media-shy Patel becomes India’s hero after abrupt exit from RBI


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 12 Dec 2018

National hero: Local newspapers blamed the government for impinging on the RBI’s autonomy, with many saying that was the main reason for Patel’s departure. — Bloomberg

NEW DELHI: Having shunned the media spotlight for most of his time as Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Urjit Patel is now being hailed as a martyr in the press.

Local newspapers were nearly unanimous in blaming the government for impinging on the RBI’s autonomy, with many saying that was the main reason for Patel’s departure and key to the dispute between the two parties.

“With the government’s attention now fully focused on the run-up to the general election, a leaderless RBI spells trouble for management of the economy,” Mint newspaper wrote in an editorial, calling Patel a “victim” of the face-off.

Patel shocked market watchers on Monday when he quit nine months before his term ends.

The government had been pushing the RBI to ease lending rules and hand over more of its excess capital.

“Like it or not, the message will go out loud and clear that government push-back against the autonomy of one of the most respected, credible and valued institutions in the country has reached intolerable levels,” Times of India said in a strongly-worded editorial.

Business Standard newspaper wrote that Patel’s resignation was unfortunate and unexpected, and raised concerns about the politicisation of the RBI’s functioning. — Bloomberg

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