RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya has resigned, reports ‘Business Standard’

RBI's youngest deputy governor post-1991 economic reforms Acharya joined the RBI

RBI's youngest deputy governor post-1991 economic reforms Acharya joined the RBI

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 Mint Road and the Central government that culminated in Patel's departure on December 10 previous year. "Consequential action arising from his letter is under consideration of the Competent Authority", the RBI statement said. It is also perhaps significant that Mr. Patel resigned shortly before the Bimal Jalan committee is to submit its report on whether RBI reserves could be transferred to the Centre or not.

Acharya reportedly resigned a few weeks before the RBI's monetary policy committee earlier this month.

In fact, the most recent round of tension between the government and the RBI culminating in the abrupt resignation of former RBI Governor Urjit Patel, was signalled in a speech by Acharya after the government sought consultations with the RBI under Section 7 (a provision rarely used) of the RBI Act, which allows the government to give directions to the central bank in public interest.

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In the latest MPC meet earlier this month, while Acharya finally also voted for a rate cut, he claimed to have done so with "some hesitation" due to the "mixed picture on economic growth". When pressed for a detailed comment, he said, "A schoolteacher once told me: "When your work speaks for itself, do not interrupt".

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

Acharya's exit from the RBI top ranks was being speculated upon since past year, when he took on the government with a hard-hitting speech on the need to ensure the central bank's independence.

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But the new governor and Acharya had contradictory views, reportedly making the latter increasingly uncomfortable.

The other three deputy governors include NS Viswanathan, BP Kanungo and Mahesh Kumar Jain. Acharya, a New York University economics professor who once called himself the "poor man's Raghuram Rajan", was appointed for three years. He took charge 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.

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