A day after the sudden resignation of Governor Urjit Patel, the Modi administration on Tuesday appointed former bureaucrat Shaktikanta Das as the 25th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at a time when the government and the central bank are apparently locked in a tussle over several important issues.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri Shaktikanta Das, IAS Retd., former Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, as Governor, Reserve Bank of India for a period of three years,” read the notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on Tuesday.
A veteran bureaucrat who served as Secretary Revenue and subsequently Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Das is currently a member of the Fifteenth Finance Commission and represents India at the G-20 in a role of a sherpa. He is a 1980 batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre.
‘Enjoys govt. trust’
“He is trusted by the top people in the government, hence his selection to head the central bank at such a crucial and delicate period,” a top source in the government told The Hindu .
Insiders in the government said there was a strong view in the PMO and the Finance Ministry to put a retired bureaucrat in charge at the central bank instead of hiring career economists like Raghuram Rajan or his successor Urjit Patel.
Those favouring a bureaucrat cited examples of Dr. D. Subbarao and Y.V. Reddy earlier.