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India appoints ex-finance secretary as new central bank head

Published: Updated:

Shaktikanta Das has been appointed the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for three years, a day after Urjit Patel stepped down from the position.

Das, 61, is former finance secretary and currently a member of the federal finance commission, and one of India’s serving G20 representatives. He was widely perceived to be a contender for the top job at the RBI after the exit of former governor Raghuram Rajan in 2016.

He previously served on the central bank’s board. Das came under fire for his pro-demonetisation stance and he was the most visible and vocal bureaucrat at the time Modi withdrew the high-value bank notes in 2016.

Last year, Das criticized the methodology of global rating agencies and sought a sovereign rating upgrade. Das has worked extensively in the budget division under both Modi’s government and the previous coalition led by the Congress.