Mumbai: In a low-key affair, Urjit Patel has begun his innings as Reserve Bank’s new Governor with a private off-media ‘handover’ ceremony today — a marked departure from his predecessor Raghuram Rajan announcing big-bang reforms on his first day itself three years ago.
Traditionally, the handover of charge by the outgoing Governor to the new head of the central bank has been a public affair and had taken place in the past in front of media cameras and this was also the case when Rajan had taken over from his predecessor D Subbarao.
In contrast, Patel officially assumed charge with effect from September 4 — a Sunday — itself, which was made public by RBI through a statement a day later.
However, the ‘handover’ took place today, the first working day, because of ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ holiday yesterday.
An RBI spokesperson said the photographs of the official ceremony of Patel assuming office would be released later in the day by the central bank. There was no word on whether or when Patel would be talking to media about his priorities and plan of action as head of Mint Street.
After assuming office on September 4, 2013, Rajan had held a press conference lasting more than an hour during which he announced his detailed action plan.
Some commentators have already said that Patel ‘quietly’ assuming office could be a signal for the things to come at RBI, after the end of tenure for an outspoken Rajan at the helms, who was always vocal with his views on all issues — economic, social and political — and always pitched for greater communication on part of the central bank.
On his first day, Rajan had said he would emphasise on transparency and predictability.
“A central bank should never say ‘Never’! But the public should have a clear framework as to where we are going, and understand how our policy actions fit into that framework. Key to all this is communication, and I want to underscore communication with this statement on my first day in office,” Rajan had told mediapersons on the first day. .
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