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India monetary policy panel ready by September, official says

[NEW DELHI] India should have a new monetary policy committee up and running by the end of September, coinciding with the end of central bank governor Raghuram Rajan's current three-year term.

The panel "should be functional in the second quarter of the coming fiscal" year, Economic Affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das told Bloomberg News by phone on Monday. India's financial year starts on April 1.

A bill before India's parliament proposes a six-member committee, with three people picked by the central bank and three by the government. The governor's vote would be decisive in any tied tallies. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill when parliament is in session from April 25 to May 13.

Mr Rajan praised the composition of a planned monetary policy committee earlier this month, saying he was "absolutely on board and happy with it."

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"It is a very reasonable step forward," Mr Rajan told reporters on March 12.

"The monetary process will benefit from this structure."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration hasn't said yet whether it plans to extend Mr Rajan's term.