Pro-demonetisation Shaktikanta Das appointed new RBI governor as govt moves swiftly to replace Urjit Patel

By: | Updated: December 11, 2018 7:37 PM

Shaktikanta Das is former finance secretary and currently a member of the federal finance commission, and one of India's serving G20 representatives.

Shaktikanta Das is former finance secretary and currently a member of the federal finance commission, and one of India's serving G20 representatives. Shaktikanta Das is former finance secretary and currently a member of the federal finance commission, and one of India’s serving G20 representatives.

Shaktikanta Das has been appointed the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for three years, a day after Urjit Patel stepped down from the position. Das, 61, is former finance secretary and currently a member of the federal finance commission, and one of India’s serving G20 representatives.

“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Shri Shaktikanta Das, IAS Retd. (TN:80), former Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, as Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a period of three years,” the Department of Personnel and Training said in a statement.

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 banknotes in 2016, according to Reuters. He was earlier perceived as one of the top contenders for the same position after the exit of Raghuram Rajan but Urjit Patel was selected for the top job.

The former IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre has also been critical of rating agencies for denying India a sovereign upgrade.

“It would appear that rating agencies are several steps behind the prevailing reality. At least, so far as India is concerned, that seems to be the case,” he told news agency PTI in February 2017, when he was the Economic Affairs Secretary. Das served as DEA Secretary from August 2015- May 2017.

Urjit Patel on Monday stepped down as RBI governor citing personal reasons. However, his resignation followed a series of events that led to several contentious issues between the central bank and the government, which deputy governor Viral Acharya signalled were undermining the autonomy of the RBI.

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