Narendra Modi government on Tuesday appointed former finance ministry official Shaktikanta Das as governor of the Reserve Bank of India, a day after former central bank boss Urjit Patel resigned abruptly.
Das, a former finance secretary and current member of the 15th finance commission, shot into the public spotlight in late 2016 when he became the bureaucratic face of demonetisation in the weeks following the note-ban decision.
He is a 1980 batch IAS officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre and currently also represents India at the G-20 in a role of a sherpa.
Modi brought in Das initially to head up the revenue department in the finance ministry before moving him to economic affairs, where he helped lead the charge on demonetisation’s implementation in late 2016.
According to a government statement released on Tuesday evening, he will be given a three-year-tenure.
Patel exit and next course of action
The appointment of Das comes on the heels of Patel’s surprising resignation and nearly a three-month public stand-off between the Modi government and the RBI over a host of issues.
The first order of business for Das will be the upcoming RBI board meeting on December 14 where discussion over hot-button issues such as the size of the central bank’s balance sheet and its governance structure will take place.
Before resigning, Patel had opposed the Modi government on both accounts; handing over the RBI’s contingency reserves and giving more operational powers to the central bank’s board.
According to RBI board member Satish Marathe, the agenda for the upcoming meeting has already been circulated.