Deputy Governor of RBI, Viral Acharya Quits amidst growing differences with Govt

The Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Viral Acharya  resigned, citing “unavoidable personal circumstances”. The RBI in a statement said Viral Acharya wrote to it a few weeks ago, saying he would be “unable to continue his term as a Deputy Governor of the RBI beyond July 23, 2019”.

Acharya’s term was scheduled to end in six months.

The 45-year-old’s resignation comes months after his former boss Urjit Patel stepped down as RBI Governor, amid speculation of a rift with the government. That rift had exploded when Viral Acharya, in a scathing speech just a couple of months before said that, he had warned of “risks of undermining the central bank’s independence” as “potentially catastrophic”.

Those comments were seemingly triggered over the government reportedly pressuring the central bank to release reserve cash kept in RBI coffers to boost the economy in an election year.

Mr Acharya was appointed as one of the four deputy governors at the central bank in December 2016, after Urjit Patel was promoted to be the governor. The Business Standard newspaper reported today that he is returning to the New York University Stern School of Business as an Economics professor in August.

RBI’s former boss Urjit Patel’s exited as governor in December 2018 amid growing differences with the government over a range of subjects including the central bank’s autonomy. Shaktikanta Das was appointed governor shortly after Mr Patel quit.