RBI’s Rajan indicates interest in second term, says ‘more to do’

  • PTI, London
  • Updated: May 14, 2016 01:37 IST
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan gestures as he answers a question from the audience after delivering his keynote address at the "Advancing Asia: Investing for the Future" conference in New Delhi on March 12. (Reuters)

Indicating his interest in a second term as the Reserve Bank of India governor, Raghuram Rajan said on Friday he has enjoyed every moment of the job but there is “more to do”, despite calls from some sections of the ruling BJP against any extension for him.

“There is a lot of fulfillment from making things actually happen for improving the environment... I have enjoyed every moment of the job,” Rajan said in London.

Rajan, whose current three-year term as the Reserve Bank Governor is ending this September, was asked about the “heat from the BJP and the government” on whether he should be given another term and about the politics happening on this matter.

To another question on whether he felt his agenda as the central banker would remain half-finished if the second term was not granted, Rajan told CNBC news channel, “It’s a good question. I think we have accomplished a lot... I think that ... I mean, there is always more to do.”

Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday had suggested that Rajan should be removed from the post of the RBI chief and accused him of being responsible for “unemployment and collapse” of industrial activity.

“In my opinion, the RBI Governor is not appropriate for the country. I don’t want to speak much about him. He has hiked interest rates in the garb of controlling inflation that has damaged the country... The sooner he is sent back to Chicago, the better it would be,” Swamy had told reporters outside Parliament.

Rajan, who had earlier also served as the Chief Economist of IMF and is known as a key commentator on financial issues globally, is the on-leave Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

The RBI Governor is currently on a visit to the UK for a series of lectures and recently said that he had not heard from the government on extension of his term at the central bank.

After assuming charge as the RBI Governor in September 2013, Rajan has gradually raised the short-term lending rate from 7.25% to 8% and retained the high rates throughout 2014.

He had earlier kept the rates high, citing inflationary concerns despite intense pressure from the Finance Ministry and the industry for softening them with a view to boosting growth.

The Governor began the process of lowering the rates in January 2015 and since then it has come down by 1.50% to 6.50%.

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