Shaktikanta Das assumes charge as RBI Governor

New Delhi: Former Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday assumed charge as RBI Governor after Urjit Patel abruptly resigned from the post amidst a tiff with the government on the central bank’s autonomy.

“Assumed charge as Governor, Reserve Bank of India. Thank you each and everyone for your good wishes,” the new incumbent said in a Tweet.

Das, who as Economic Affairs Secretary steered the monetary situation post-demonetisation, was appointed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor on Tuesday.

His appointment came at a time when the government and the RBI are engaged in a tussle over several issues including transfer of the central bank’s reserves, over which Patel had reservations after the government hinted at forcing him using provisions of the RBI Act.

Das, a retired 1980-batch IAS officer from the Tamil Nadu cadre, was a member of the 15th Finance Commission of India and India’s Sherpa to G20. Having a master’s degree from St. Stephen’s College, he earlier served as Joint Secretary in the Expenditure Department of the Finance Ministry.

In a development that came as an embarrassment for the government, Patel resigned on Monday citing “personal reasons” even as his various predecessors hinted that the decision was rooted in the recent controversy involving the government and the central bank.

His resignation came against the backdrop of the tiff between the government and the central bank over the liquidity and credit crunch in the economy that provoked an extraordinary meeting of the RBI board on November 19.