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Former Secretary Shaktikanta Das is new RBI Governor

PW Bureau

With this appointment, the top position at the Central bank returns two a career bureaucrat after a gap of five years New Delhi: A day after Urjit Patel’s exit, the government has hurriedly appointed former economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das as the 25th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for a three-year tenure. Sixty-one-year-old Das is a 1980-batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS officer who oversaw the 2016 demonetisation and was named as India’s G-20 sherpa post-retirement. Das also served as a member of the 15th Finance Commission and is known in bureaucratic circles for his ‘upright’ attitude and extremely organised style of functioning.

Das was also one of the top three contenders for the position in 2016 when the government had decided against giving former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan an extension and had instead picked his deputy Patel.

The former economic affairs secretary relayed the news one Twitter, saying, “Assumed charge as Governor, Reserve Bank of India. Thank you each and everyone for your good wishes.” With this appointment, the top position at the Central bank returns two a career bureaucrat after a gap of five years. D Subbarao was the last bureaucrat to have held the office in 2013. Das was also one of the top three contenders for the position in 2016 when the government had decided against giving former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan an extension and had instead picked his deputy Patel. Patel, who initially appeared to have toed the government line on issues like demonetisation, had in the recent weeks been locked in a tussle with the Finance Ministry over issues of liquidity, reserves of the Central bank and lending norms. Patel resigned four days ahead of the crucial meeting of the RBI Board where government nominee directors were expected to push the Central bank on governance issues.