India central bank chief Urjit Patel quits

India central bank chief Urjit Patel quits

New Delhi (Agencies): Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel resigned on Monday.

Patel cited "personal reasons" for his decision, but media reports have said he resigned following a public spat with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration about alleged government interference

It comes after Patel's deputy, Viral Acharya, warned the government in a strongly worded speech in October that undermining the bank's independence could be "potentially catastrophic".

Patel's short statement Monday made no mention of the rift, highlighting only what he called the RBI's "considerable accomplishments in recent years".

"On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately," Patel said in the statement which was posted on the bank´s website.

The governor and finance ministry officials were reported to be at loggerheads in recent months over claims that the government was trying to influence the bank's decision-making.

Indian business dailies reported in October and November that Modi's government had invoked never-before-used powers to send at least three letters to Patel seeking to direct policy.

Newspapers suggested that Patel was close to quitting over the issue at the time, but the tension was believed to have been diffused following clear-the-air talks three weeks ago.