The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet appointed former Department of Economic Affairs Secretary, Shaktikanta Das as the new Governor of Reserve Bank of India. The decision was made soon after former Governor Urjit Patel’s unanticipated resignation.
Soon after former Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel’s sudden resignation, the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet instated Shaktikanta Das as the Governor of the RBI. With a master’s degree in History, Shaktikanta Das is the first non-economist RBI Governor in 28 years.
The retired Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, who played a crucial role during the demonetisation period, will now serve as the RBI Governor for a period of three years. He has also served as the Secretary in the Revenue Department of the Finance Ministry. After his retirement as the Economic Affairs Secretary last year, Shaktikanta Das became a member of the 15th Finance Commission. He was also the G20 Sherpa.
The former RBI Governor, Urjit Patel who was appointed in 2016, in his resignation letter stated, “On account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately.”
It is widely believed that the resignation of Urjit Patel came amid growing tension between the Reserve Bank of India and the government. In his speech last month, the deputy governor Viral Acharya’s demanded protection of autonomy of the RBI and non-interference by the state over many disputed matters.
Amid speculations of the RBI Governor’s resignation being linked to the ongoing issues between the government and the RBI, former RBI chief Raghuram Rajan said Patel’s resignation should be seen as a protest.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on the other hand, appreciated the contributions made by Urjit Patel. He tweeted, “The Government acknowledges with deep sense of appreciation the services rendered by Dr. Urjit Patel to this country both in his capacity as the Governor and the Deputy Governor of The RBI. It was a pleasure for me to deal with him and benefit from his scholarship.”
There is now both skepticism and excitement around the appointment of the new RBI Governor. While banking experts expect Das to be realistic and understand the need for leniency when dealing with the public sector, market experts feel the new Governor is likely to be more communicative.
Confederation of Indian Industry President, Rakesh Bharti Mittal said, “The Government, in selecting an experienced economic expert, has avoided disruption and imparted huge confidence to investors and industry.”