We now tread the road Savak Tarapore laid

Obituary: We now tread the road Savak Tarapore laid - timesofindia-economictimes

2016

2/04/2016

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-02-04/news/70343983_1_...

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2/23/2016

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The content on this page is not the property of The Billion Press. It is presented here from its original source (cited herein above) to offer a collection of tributes that appeared in various media houses in memory of Mr. S S Tarapore after he passed away suddenly on February 3, 2016. The following piece appeared in the leading newspaper 'The Economic Times'.

By Gayatri Nayak & MC Govardhana Rangan

The day India moves to full currency convertibility, it would thank one man for laying the foundation for it - Savak S Tarapore, a former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

He passed away on Tuesday after a brief illness. He was 80. Unlike many central bankers, Tarapore became popular after he retired from the central bank in 1996 with a seminal report on Capital Account Convertibility which he chaired. Central bank insiders knew what a tough nut he was to crack. Known for his rigid views and humility, he set an example for public servants.

Old timers say Tarapore used to walk to the state-run bank branch near the RBI to withdraw money waiting in a queue before the teller counter when RBI staff and the bank he bossed over could have delivered it at his door. Tarapore, who did his MsC in Economics from the London University, was an authority on monetary economics and has been a campaigner of prudent policies and highlighted the need for inflation targeting much before it became a catch-phrase for the market after the arrival of Raghuram Rajan. Though he favoured the western and developed nations' style of inflation targeting, he was not carried away by all the thoughts that flowed from capitalist economies.

The road map which he laid out for an open exchange rate policy stipulated three key targets — fiscal consolidation, inflation at less than 5% and bad loans at around 5%.

He batted for the sovereign having a say over the currency movements instead of leaving it all to markets.

"What people like Lagarde (of IMF) and Kuroda (Bank of Japan) are talking about (on capital flows), Tarapore said twenty years ago,'' says YV Reddy, former Governor of the RBI, a friend and colleague. "He was respected as a moral central banker even in Basel those days. His is a major contribution by any Indian banker to global economic policy thinking."

When India faced one of its worst economic crisis since independence in 1991, Tarapore was there guiding on how to get the nation out of the mess.

"He was uncompromising in his views with highest level of integrity and was always available for any guidance and clarification,'' said Reddy.

The road map which he laid out for an open exchange rate policy stipulated three key targets — fiscal consolidation, inflation at less than 5% and bad loans at around 5%.

(The article has been written by Gayatri Nayak & MC Govardhana Rangan. It was published in The Economic Times on February 4, 2016)