Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel resigns citing ‘personal reasons’

Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel resigns citing ‘personal reasons’
(Photo source: IANS)

  • The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Urjit Patel, just resigned from his post citing ‘personal reasons’.
  • This comes at a time when India's central bank and its government have been at odds about how much autonomy the RBI should have.
  • This is a surprise turn of events, even for those who expected his resignation, as it has come much earlier than speculated.
In a surprise move, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Urjit Patel, has stepped down from his role citing ‘personal reasons.’

His resignation has been speculated in the past few months in the wake of a much-publicised discord between the Indian government and the central bank.

Here’s the full statement by Patel:

“On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years. The support and hard work of RBI staff, officers and management has been the proximate driver of the Bank’s considerable accomplishments in recent years. I take this opportunity to express gratitude to my colleagues and Directors of the RBI Central Board, and wish them all the best for the future.”

Urjit R. Patel, 10th December 2018

The rift between the government and India’s central banking institution has been widening over the issue of how much autonomy the bank should have. The Indian government wanted to loosen the restrictions that RBI had placed on banks in the wake of their rising non-performing assets (NPAs) as well as gain access to the RBI’s surplus reserves.


Urjit Patel was appointed as the governor of the RBI on 4 September 2016 after Raghuram Rajan resigned from his post on 19 June earlier that same year. Under his tenure, the Indian economy underwent the exercise of demonetisation where 85 percent of the country’s currency was pulled from circulation.

Under normal circumstances, Urjit Patel’s term would have lasted till September 2019, but with this announcement, his resignation is effective immediately.

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