Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel resigned on Monday effective immediately. Though Patel has cited personal reasons for quitting the RBI, given the recent controversies, it's not unreasonable to assume that Patel quit when the RBI autonomy faced pressures from the government.
"It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years", it continued. "I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues & Directors of RBI Central Board & wish them all the best for future".
Patel's resignation comes against the backdrop of sharp differences between the central bank and the government over how much autonomy the RBI should have.
Congress MP Ahmed Patel said the resignation is a blot on India's monetary & banking system.
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In September, Nachiket Mor was removed from the RBI board more than two years before his term was to end without formally informing him.
Patel, who was the Deputy Governor of the RBI before being elevated to the post of RBI Governor, had succeeded Raghuram Rajan after the latter's term ended in September 2016.
The government reportedly wants the RBI to allow ailing state-owned banks, groaning under bad loans to industries, to resume lending to small businesses.
Speculation over his resignation began last month after a rift between the Centre and the central bank became public.
RBI board member and journalist S. Gurumurthy tweeted: "Surprised at the news that RBI governor has resigned". "The previous meeting was held in such cordial atmosphere that it comes as a shock". BJP Government has unleashed a a defacto financial emergency. All directors said media had created a wrong perception while inside it was different. ".Modi thinks that he's the biggest economist and he doesn't need them, so they are resigning", ANI quoted Sibal as saying. "That makes it even more surprising". However, it spilled over into regulation, something the central bank believes is its exclusive domain.