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Outgoing Governor Rajan: I managed to achieve nearly 95% of my objectives

Reporting by Latha Venkatesh | Writing by Aza Wee Sile
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Raghuram Rajan will depart as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India next month, marking the end of a three-year stint for the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund.

Much has been written about his performance, with some praising his efforts to encourage banks to better recognize their bad debts while others lamenting the lack of sufficient stimulus to boost Asia's third-largest economy.

But what does Rajan think about his performance? He told CNBC TV18 that he managed to achieve 90- to 95 percent of his targets, noting his work in achieving economic stability and implementing reforms to stabilize financial markets.

"There are some things that remain unfinished, but my sense is 90 to 95 percent of what I wanted to do...are done," Rajan told CNBC TV18 in an interview.

"Everything I wanted to do was structured for a three-year horizon," he added.

In retrospect, Rajan said that his immediate objective when he first took up the mantle was to stabilize the economy, followed by creating reforms to build a more resilient market.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"We were in the 'Fragile Five" at that time and daily predictions of the rupee were getting worse and worse. The rupee was a barometer of what people thought of the economy at that point," he added, alluding to a moniker awarded at the time to large emerging market countries that were perceived to be vulnerable to capital flight.

The "rock star" central banker will leave behind a legacy of having reformed the public sector banks' bad loans, for stabilizing the rupee and curtailing inflation.

"I am fundamentally an academic, this is my side job," he said candidly. "The idea was never for me to be a career bureaucrat or career technocrat, it was more about where I could implement ideas and reform programs."

In his final central bank meeting as governor on Tuesday, Rajan left interest rates unchanged in a widely-expected move. His replacement hasn't been announced yet.

Rajan appeared set to leave his role as governor with no regrets, but admitted in the interview that "really, this job is never done."

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