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Rajan doesn”t want to leave any legacy issues to next Governor

Rajan says doesn”t want to leave any legacy issues to next Governor


Outgoing Governor Raghuram Rajan on Tuesday said he would like to leave a clean slate for his successor at the Reserve Bank so that the person does not have to deal with any legacy issues on taking charge.

On his return to the academic world when his term comes to a close on September 4, he wants to focus back on research and understanding a world which has changed considerably in the last four years, Rajan said, dismissing notions of joining politics.

"The hope is to leave no legacy issues for the next Governor so that they start with (a clean state) broadly…all problems are dealt with," Rajan told journalists from wire agencies in a post-policy interaction here.

He, however, refrained from giving any advice to the successor, reserving it for a private conversation.

The government is yet to name the new Governor. The call on the successor will be taken by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon.

There is intense speculation on who will succeed and people whose names are being discussed include former deputy governor Subir Gokarn, SBI chairman Arundhati Bhatacharya and Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Pangariya, among others.

In the morning, Rajan said he wants to "completely utilise" the remaining 28 days in office and intends to introduce measures like peer to peer lending guidelines and measures to deepen the corporate bond market.

Rajan, 53, surprised all by reluctantly opting out of being considered for a second term on June 18 through an open letter to the RBI staff. He announced a return to the academic world, to the University of Chicago where he served as a professor of economics at the Booth School of Business.

He has been on leave from the school for over four years now, first when he was appointed the chief economic advisor in the previous government which was followed up with the three-year stint as the Governor. This makes Rajan the only governor not to serve a five-year term since 1991. The only other one to be denied being Bimal Jalan.

"My immediate objective is to start thinking about research once again. Start understanding the world we are in which has changed quite a bit," Rajan said.

Rajan reiterated that he will continue to engage with opportunities that make him come to the country, saying there are "various possibilities" of that.

He, however, said politics is not among those, saying his wife is completely against a switch to him becoming a political neta.

"On the political front, even if I was any good at it, my wife has completely taken away any possibility that I will do that. So right now, the answer is ‘no’. I think many of you are married and know precisely how that works," he said to peels of laughter from reporters.