RBI confirms Deputy Governor Viral Acharya has resigned; quits 6 months before end of term

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Viral Acharya has quit six months before the end of his three-year term.

A statement on the RBI site said: Reports have appeared in certain sections of the media that Viral V Acharya, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has resigned from his post. In this connection it is stated as follows: A few weeks ago, Acharya submitted a letter to the RBI informing that due to unavoidable personal circumstances, he is unable to continue his term as a Deputy Governor of the RBI beyond 23 July 2019. Consequential action arising from his letter is under consideration of the Competent Authority.

In an exclusive statement to CNBC-TV 18, Acharya said: Have decided to leave six months early due to unavoidable personal reasons. So much to finish in the last month! I am sticking to my school teacher's advice: when your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt!

Earlier today, Business Standard reported that Acharya had resigned and was heading back to New York University Stern School of Business (NYU stern) in August as CV Starr Professor of Economics.

This is the second high profile resignation in the past six months at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

In December, governor Urjit Patel resigned nearly nine months before the end of his scheduled term over differences with the government.

Acharya, the youngest deputy governor post-economic liberalisation, joined the RBI in January 2017 after Urjit Patel was elevated to the post of governor in September 2016.

 RBI confirms Deputy Governor Viral Acharya has resigned; quits 6 months before end of term

Viral Acharya, deputy governor, RBI. Pic courtesy: Stern NYU

Speculation about Acharya's exit had started on the day of his boss's resignation, forcing the RBI to deny it then.

Acharya went public with his thinking on the sensitive topic of central bank independence during a speech at the peak of the run-ins between the Mint Road and the Government that culminated in former governor Urjit Patel's departure on 10 December last year which included specific mentions of points of differences like government eying RBI's capital buffers.

Citing an Argentinian example, where governor Martin Redrados resigned over differences with the government which was not taken kindly, Acharya had warned of the consequences that await.

Currently, Acharya is in charge of the Financial Stability Unit, Monetary Policy Department, Department of Economic and Policy Research, Financial Markets Operation Department, Financial Market Regulation Department, among others at the RBI.

The RBI is now left with three deputy governors N S Vishwanathan, B P Kanungo and M K Jain.

RBI’s Deputy Governor NS Vishwanathan, whose term is due to end in the first week of July is likely to stay back for another two-year term, the media report said. The process for finding Vishwanathan’s successor has been put on hold.

Acharya, a New York University economics professor who once called himself the 'poor man's Raghuram Rajan', was appointed for three years.

He took over at a time when the central bank was facing criticism for repeated changes in the rules related to deposit and withdrawal of money, post-demonetisation.

--With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Jun 24, 2019 16:50:27 IST