NEW DELHI: A day after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its key benchmark rates unchanged, its outgoing Governor Raghuram Rajan said that he was open to staying a bit longer to complete the unfinished work of bank clean-up, but was perfectly happy to go.
Terming the political attacks on him as abominable, the 53-year-old, who had in June decided against seeking a second term after his three-year tenure ends on September 4, said the process of dialogue with the government did not reach a stage where he could have agreed to stay on. He, however, said that he was never worried about reappointment or a future career in government and did the best in the interest of the country and he was the “best team player”.
Towards the end of his three-year tenure, Rajan faced personal attacks from BJP MP Subramanian Swamy who had alleged that the former IMF chief economist was “mentally not fully Indian” and sent confidential and sensitive financial information abroad.
In an interview to a television channel, Rajan said his stays at university made him “pretty thick skinned”, but the attacks then were not abominable. “Some of these (recent) attacks were abominable, that is imputing sort of motives, alleging things completely without any basis,” he said.
Rajan said 90-95 per cent of the job that he had taken on was complete and he had absolute freedom in doing his work. “I have enjoyed every minute of it, partly because ever yday when my fellow colleagues at the RBI and I sit together and work, we manage to move the needle forward a little bit. You leave the office saying, you did something and there are few places in the world where you can have that sense of satisfaction,” he said.
However, before leaving the central bank, Rajan expressed his interest in completing the unfinished task of helping public sector banks to clean up their balance sheets. “That does not mean in any way, that I was absolutely hell-bent on having a second term. I was open for staying a little while longer to see them complete, but at the same time I was perfectly happy to go,” he said.