Eminent economist and columnist Surjit Bhalla on Tuesday said he had resigned as part-time member of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister(EAC-PM) on December 1, 2018. His resignation was accepted by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"I resigned as part-time member of PMEAC on December 1," Mr Bhalla said on social networking site Twitter.
The EAC- PM is headed by Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy. Economists Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and Shamika Ravi are other part-time members. Bhalla's resignation comes less than 24 hours after Urjit Patel stepped down as the RBI Governor on Monday.
Urjit Patel had announced that he will be stepping down as RBI Governor. In his statement, Patel, who succeeded Raghuram Rajan as the head of India's central bank in September 2016, had cited personal reasons for his departure effective immediately.
The following is his statement:
The statement makes no mention of the standoff with the government that had been written and talked about copiously over the last few months.
Despite the standoff, the resignation of the RBI Governor comes as a surprise as he had just last week chaired the bi-monthly meeting of the RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which decided to not change the key Repo rate, though he alluded to there being scope to cut the rate in the months to come once data, especially in the light of fluctuating fuel prices, settles. During the press conference following the MPC, Patel had refused to answer questions about the standoff with the government, specifically over the use of Section 7 of the RBI act that allows the government to issue directions to the RBI.
Earlier on Monday, the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has issued a statement expressing his dejection over the resignation of Urjit Patel as the RBI Governor. Manmohan Singh, who has also served his time as the Governor of RBI, cited this news to be a "sever blow to the nation's economy".
Former RBI chief Raghuram Rajan had also commented on the issue and said:
"I think Dr Patel has made a statement and I think this is the ultimate statement that a regulator or a civil servant can make. I think the statement should be respected," Rajan said.