Urjit Patel, the former RBI governor appointed as chairment of NIPFP
Urjit Patel resigned from his post as governor of RBI in December 2018, due to his tussle with govt over the central bank autonomy.
“National Institute of Public Finance & Policy is privileged to have Dr. Urjit Patel, former Reserve Bank Governor, as its Chairperson for a four year term commencing June 22, 2020,” NIPFP said in a statement.
An NIPFP official under condition of anonymity said the administration of NIPFP met under the outgoing chairman Vijay Kelkar where Patel’s name was cleared. “The chairman’s role is advisory in nature and he doesn’t interfere in day today functioning of the institution. He chairs the board meetings which are held a minimum of three to fourfold during a year,” the official said.
The administration of NIPFP comprises of three representatives of the Ministry of Finance, one representative of the Niti Aayog, one representative of the Federal Reserve Bank of India, three representatives of sponsoring state governments, three distinguished economists, three heads of sister research institutions, and members of other sponsoring agencies and invitees.
“NIPFP records its deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for the many contributions made by the outgoing Chairman, Dr. Vijay Laxman Kelkar during his tenure which has immensely helped the Institute towards scaling to its present level of growth and effectiveness,” the statement added.
“Though government nominees are there within the board of NIPFP and therefore the institution is essentially funded by the govt , usually it’s the outgoing chairman who proposes the name of the new chairman and therefore the board takes a non-partisan view,” the official quoted earlier said.
Patel who served as a deputy governor under Raghuram Rajan succeeded him in September 2016 after government didn’t extent Rajan’s initial tenure of three years. However, the normally reticent Patel and therefore the finance ministry engaged during a bitter face-off for weeks in 2018 over RBI’s autonomy because the centre sought to limit curbs on lending and gain access to RBI reserves. The friction came to light when RBI then deputy governor Viral Acharya warned that compromising the central bank’s independence might be “catastrophic”. This was followed by then minister of finance Arun Jaitley publicly accusing the financial institution of sleeping on the work and for its failure to see indiscriminate lending by public sector banks between 2008 and 2014. Acharya followed Patel’s footsteps and resigned from his post within a niche of six months in June 2019.