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RBI Dy Governor Viral Acharya quits

New Delhi: Viral Acharya, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor, who had in October last year brought to light tensions with the government over independence of the central bank, has resigned six months before the scheduled end of his term in the office.

Acharya, 45, who was the only Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank on the six-member interest rate-setting monetary policy committee, resigned from his position “a few weeks” back citing “unavoidable personal circumstances”, the RBI said in a brief statement.

In his resignation, he expressed inability to continue beyond July 23, 2019, it said.

The RBI, which had previously not disclosed the resignation and was forced to do so following a media report, said: “Consequential action arising from his letter is under consideration of the Competent Authority.”

Acharya had in a hard-hitting speech in October last year brought to light a growing rift between the BJP-led government and the RBI headed by the then Governor Urjit Patel.

A staunch defender of the central bank’s autonomy, he had made public disputes with the government over issues ranging from lending curbs, more cash availability to non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), and who controls the RBI’s reserves.

In his speech, he had warned that undermining the central bank’s independence could be “potentially catastrophic”, a possible indication of the RBI being pushed to relax its policies ahead of general elections.

Patel quit in December last year, weeks after the government used hereto unused power to direct the RBI Governor to discuss contentious issues.

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