Shaktikanta Das is the new RBI Guv

Former economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das was named the 25th governor of the Reserve Bank of India to succeed Urjit Patel, who quit abruptly amid a bitter dispute over the regulator’s autonomy. The appointment means that the central bank will once again be headed by a former Indian Administrative Services officer. Patel, who had said he was resigning for personal reasons, and his predecessor Raghuram Rajan are economists.

The government began the selection process soon after Patel’s resignation. It was expedited as the government didn’t want the post to remain vacant at a crucial juncture. The appointment will be for three years. He is likely to join at the earliest.

Das, 63, a veteran Tamil Nadu cadre officer, will first have to work on normalising the relationship between the central bank and the government that had turned frosty in the past few months as the two differed on many issues.

Das had been instrumental in establishing the monetary policy committee and the switch-over to an inflation targeting regime, among other things. Now that he’s moving to the regulatory side, Das may even have to resist some of the ideas he supported when in government.

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