Urjit Patel takes over as new RBI Governor from Raghuram Rajan

Mumbai: Indian economist, consultant and banker, who is currently serving as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Urjit R. Patel takes over as the new Governor of RBI from an outspoken and rockstar-like Raghuram Rajan.

While everyone has been effusive in showering praise on soft-spoken but effective Patel being chosen to succeed Rajan, many industry leaders, top bankers and influential marketmen said they are also keeping their fingers crossed on whether Patel will continue as the ‘inflation warrior’ he was for his current Governor or his corporate and finance background would help taper down RBI’s “hawk-eye fixation” on checking inflation and the ‘deep surgery’ to remove bad loans.

The wish list that ‘Dr Patel’, as he is commonly referred to as, faces is long and could be difficult to fulfil on many fronts-lower the rates, go easy on banks and borrowers, be liberal with grant of banking licences, safeguard foreign reserves and rather beef it up.

Ironically, Patel himself was the “Brahmastra or the master tool”, as described by a top functionary at an informal industry gathering here, that Rajan used in his battlefield-where RBI is required to control inflation without hurting growth while also catering to unending demands for rate cuts, and also clean up books of the banks from bad loans including those induced upon them.