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RBI Governor's Job Demands One to Grow a Thick Skin: Urjit Patel

RBI Governor

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel.

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New Delhi: Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel feels "it is important to grow a thick skin in the business" of being a central bank chief, as he presented one of the strongest arguments yet in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation drive in an interview to Network18.

In his first exclusive interview ever since the PM announced the demonetisation drive around 100 days ago, Urjit Patel told Network18 Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi that more work was needed to ensure benefits of demonetisation are long-lasting.

"I think that in terms of remonetisation, we are proceeding at a pace that is very quick. Therefore we have managed to bring the situation to normal along most of the dimensions after demonetisation," Patel said, adding that the collateral benefits of note ban will take a while to play out.

The Union Government's midnight move on November 8, 2016, to ban high-value bank notes overnight had shaken up the economy as 85% of the total value of currency in circulation was wiped out in one swoop. The media – international and domestic – had panned the decision, and many had questioned whether the institutional autonomy of RBI was being eroded.

Patel sought to silence all critics in his first-ever interview after demonetization. To a pointed question on if he felt sad at media's focus on the negatives of the decision, Patel had this to say: "That has always been the case. What makes news is fairly subjective in this regard. I think that in terms of remonetisation, we are proceeding at a pace that is very quick."

He predicted a "sharp V-shaped" recovery for the economy, and said quick remonetisation will help growth faster.

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