In a surprise development, Reserve Bank deputy governor KC Chakrabarty, known for his strong views and who had fought with former SBI chairman in public on issues, has resigned, three months before his term was to end.
He has "requested to be relieved earlier than the scheduled (term ending June 15, 2014)," a top government source said.
Chakrabarty, 62, who was appointed as RBI deputy governor in 2009, was always blunt with his views and made it public.
Known for his strong views on the efficacy of CRR (cash reserve ratio) as a tool for monetary management, he was involved in a verbal duel in 2012 with the then SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri, who wanted its abolition.
"Chakrabarty has requested for slightly earlier departure than scheduled term-end. He has requested to be relieved by April 25... for personal reasons," an official said.
Chakrabarty, the senior most among four deputy governors, could not be contacted on the reasons for his surprise decision.
He was appointed as RBI deputy governor for a three-year term on June 15, 2009 and was subsequently given a two-year extension. His extended term was to end on June 15, 2014.
Since his term was ending in June, the finance ministry has already set up a search committee, headed by RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, to find his replacement.
As many as five PSU bankers have been called for interviews for the coveted post.
Chakrabarty's current assignments at RBI include guiding and overseeing areas pertaining to supervision of banks, currency management, financial stability, customer service, rural credit and human resource management.
He is the RBI's nominee on the financial stability board, a global body established to develop and promote implementation of effective regulatory, supervisory and other financial sector policies.
Chakrabarty is also the chairman of the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran. He also heads the Advisory Committee of College of Agricultural Banking (CAB).
He was the CMD of Punjab National Bank and Indian Bank before joining the RBI.