New Delhi: Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel has stepped down effective immediately, the central bank’s top official said in a statement.

“On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately. It has been my privilege and honour to serve in the Reserve Bank of India in various capacities over the years,” he said in a brief statement.

Patel had taken charge as the governor in September 2016 after Raghuram Rajan resigned from the post on 19 June of that year. Patel’s term as RBI governor was to end in September 2019.

Patel’s resignation comes against the backdrop of sharp differences between the central bank and the government over how much autonomy the RBI should have. The government is widely perceived to have sought reduction of curbs on lending and to gain access to the RBI’s surplus reserves.

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