Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel has been appointed as a vice-president of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral funding institution, according to sources in the bank on Sunday.
India is a founding member of AIIB with the second-highest voting share after China. It is headed by the former Chinese vice-minister for finance, Jin Liqun.
Patel, 58, will be one of the five vice-presidents of the AIIB with a three-year tenure. He is expected to take over his posting next month.
He will succeed outgoing vice-president D.J. Pandian, who is in charge of sovereign and non-sovereign lending of the AIIB in South Asia, the Pacific Islands and South-East Asia, AIIB sources told PTI.
Pandian, who has previously served as the chief secretary of Gujarat, is set to return to India later this month.
Patel had taken over as the 24th governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) succeeding Raghuram Rajan on September 5, 2016.
Patel resigned in December 2018 on account of personal reasons, saying “I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately”.
Prior to taking over on September 6, 2016, he was a deputy governor overseeing the monetary policy department at the RBI under Rajan and was known as his inflation-warrior.
Patel has previously worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Boston Consulting Group and Reliance Industries among other organisations.
Patel’s posting to AIIB is regarded as significant as India has emerged as its biggest beneficiary by obtaining USD 6.7 billion funding for 28 projects, Pandian said in his farewell luncheon interaction on Saturday.
Also, the AIIB along with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is processing a USD two-billion loan for India to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.
Of the USD two-billion loan, the Manila-based ADB is expected to finance USD 1.5 billion and AIIB is considering providing USD 500 million.
The AIIB had recently granted a USD 356.67 million loan for the expansion of the Chennai metro rail system. It is also considering funding several other infrastructure projects for the development of Chennai city and its suburbs.
The bank has also funded the Bengaluru metro rail project. In his farewell interaction, Pandian sought to dispel the impression, especially in India, that the AIIB is a Chinese bank.
He said that the bank now has emerged as a multilateral bank becoming the lead financier of infrastructure projects in Asia.
Except for the United States and Japan, most of the developed and developing countries have joined the bank, he said.
A readout on AIIB official website said the bank is a multilateral development bank whose mission is financing the ‘Infrastructure for Tomorrow’ with sustainability at its core.
We began operations in Beijing in January 2016 and have since grown to 105 approved members worldwide. We are capitalised at USD 100 billion and Triple-A-rated by the major international credit rating agencies, it added.