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Published On: Tue, Dec 11th, 2018

Shaktikanta Das appointed as new RBI Governor

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das2NEW DELHI : Ending speculations, government appointed former Economic Affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. Mr Das, who retired as Economic Affairs Secretary in May 2017, has been appointed for a term of three years.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shaktikanta Das, former Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a period of three years.”  Mr Das replaces Urjit Patel, who surprisingly resigned from the central bank on Monday amid growing differences with the government over a range of subjects including the central bank’s autonomy.
Das worked closely with the central bank. He is currently a member of the Finance Commission of India, and the government’s representative at the Group of 20 summits. Modi initially brought Das into the Finance Ministry to head up the revenue department, later moving him to economic affairs, where he helped to spearhead the prime minister’s controversial demonetization drive in 2016.

Das came under fire for his pro-demonetisation stance and he was the most visible and vocal bureaucrat at the time Modi withdrew the high-value bank notes in 2016. Last year, Das criticised the methodology of global rating agencies and sought a sovereign rating upgrade. Das has worked extensively in the budget division under both Modi’s government and the previous coalition led by the Congress.

Mr Das, a history graduate from the prestigious St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, is a 1980-batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS officer. He is known as an experienced bureaucrat. He has worked extensively in the budget division under both ruling government and the previous coalition led by the main opposition Congress party.
He was brought to the Finance Ministry soon after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power in mid-2014 and was given charge of the revenue department. While in the finance ministry, Das, 61, was involved in drafting India’s Insolvency and Bankruptcy code, aimed at protecting small investors.
As per the RBI Act, the central bank should have one governor and four deputy governors – two from within the ranks and one commercial banker and another an economist to head the monetary policy department.  Das, a 1980 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, was member of the Fifteenth Finance Commission and India’s Sherpa to G20.
His appointment is likely to cheer markets as investors expect communication between the government and the central bank to improve following a public spat that deepened an existing rift between the two sides, said experts.”Bonds and rupee should react positively following this news,” said Ashish Vaidya, executive director and head of trading at DBS Bank.
Meanwhile, in another surprising move, Eminent economist and columnist Surjit Bhalla said he has resigned as a part-time member of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister on December 1. A Prime Minister’s Office spokesman said that Bhalla’s resignation has been accepted by the Prime Minister.(With agencies inputs)

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