Who is the next RBI guv? Race may narrow down to Gokarn, Basu and Rakesh Mohan

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 12, 2016 17:49 IST
The facade of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) head office is pictured in Mumbai. (AFP)

The new governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to be appointed before the next session of Parliament begins, top sources in the finance ministry told HT on condition of anonymity. The monsoon session is scheduled for July 18.

The government has already clarified that the decision on the successor will be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in consultation with finance minister Arun Jaitley.

“The successor has already been decided, it is the announcement that has to be made. And it will be done before Parliament begins,” said the source. Now, with prime minister Narendra Modi back from his 4-nation Africa tour, and with just a few days to go before the Parliament session begins, there is hectic speculation around Raghuram Rajan’s successor.

Read: Arvind Panagariya may be named new RBI governor in place of Rajan: Report

Names, including State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, RBI deputy governor Urjit Patel, former deputy governors Subir Gokarn and Rakesh Mohan, former economic advisor Kaushik Basu, tax expert Parthasarathi Shome, chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian and economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das, have been doing the rounds.

Read: Who after Raghuram Rajan? Govt cuts RBI governor shortlist to four

The latest to join the list of probables is Arvind Panagariya, after two television channels reported that the NITI Aayog head is a front-runner. Both reports cited unnamed government sources for their information.

Arvind Panagariya was an economics professor at the Columbia University when he was appointed as the head of NITI Aayog. He is an admirer of the “Gujarat model” of development, and his views on economy are considered similar to that of Modi’s.

“The preference is for someone who has international acceptance as an economist and has served the Indian government in some capacity,” sources told HT. However, reports suggest that the race may narrow down to Gokarn, Basu and Mohan, who have “strong international presence.”

Gokarn is currently the executive director on the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He represents India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Basu, who was earlier chief economic adviser to the finance ministry, is the World Bank’s chief economist. Rakesh Mohan has served as deputy governor in RBI and has been India’s executive director at the IMF.

RBI governor Raghuram Rajan recently announced that he will return to academia when his term ends on September 4.

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