New Delhi: The clock is ticking as far as an announcement on the successor to Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan is concerned. On Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for over an hour.
Officially, there was no confirmation but sources said that a discussion on the possible choices and when to make the announcement took place. Dr Rajan’s term ends on September 4. There has been intense media speculation on the name of Dr Rajan’s successor.
Over the last few days, the names of former RBI Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn, current RBI Deputy Governor Urjit Patel and SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya have been doing the rounds.
But sources said that Mr Patel could be one of the top contenders as he is most familiar with what the RBI has been pursuing for the last few years and is well versed with the ground realities.
The names of former World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu and ex-Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahiri were also being talked about in the government circles. But, there are no confirmations yet.
After the meeting, the finance minister when asked about the announcement said, “We will let you know when we decide.” Sources said that after today’s discussion, the announcement will come from the prime minister as per the tradition.
When asked who could be the replacement for Dr Rajan, a senior official quipped, “There are many names. There have been discussions on all the names. And why should one think that it may not be Dr Rajan getting a second term. After all he has been saying that he was not averse to a second term.”
Earlier in June, Dr Rajan surprised everyone with a letter to RBI staff announcing his decision to return to academics and not be available for a second term.