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IG Patel dead
BS Corporate Bureau in New Delhi
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July 18, 2005 15:10 IST

IG Patel, noted economist, technocrat and a former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India [Get Quote], died of renal failure in New York on Sunday. He had been ailing from pneumonia and lung congestion for the last one month. Lately, his kidneys too had stopped functioning.

Patel had served as the Governor of RBI from December 1977 to September 1982. He had joined the central bank after working with UNDP for a period of five years (1972-77).

"His tenure witnessed the demonetisation of high denomination notes as well as the 'gold auctions' conducted by the Bank on behalf of Government of India.

During his tenure six private sector banks were nationalised, targets for priority sector lending introduced, and the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporations were merged, and a Departmental reorganisation was undertaken in the bank.

He played an active role in availing of the IMF's Extended Fund Facility in 1981 due to balance of payments difficulties. This represented the largest arrangement in IMF's history at the time,' the RBI website says of his innings.

Patel was succeeded as RBI Governor by Manmohan Singh. When PV Narasimha Rao came to power in 1991, it was rumoured that Patel was his first choice as the country's finance minister. Eventually, it was Singh who got the coveted job.

After studying economics in the United Kingdom and the United States, Patel returned to India in the early-1950s and worked with various governments on key economic policies.

He had also written critically acclaimed books like Glimpses of Indian Economic Policy, An Insider's View and An Encounter With Higher Education: My Years at LSE.

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