Shaktikanta Das is the 25th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank. He was appointed as the Governor on December 11, 2018, succeeding Urjit Patel. Prior to his appointment as Governor, Das served as the Economic Affairs Secretary and India’s Sherpa to the G20 between November 27, 2017 and December 11, 2018. He has represented India at various international forums such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the G20, and the BRICS.
Education and career
Das was born in 1957 in Odisha and has an impressive educational background. He completed his bachelor's and master's degrees in History from St Stephen's College at the University of Delhi (DU). He also has a post-graduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Birmingham, UK.
Shaktikanta Das joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1980 and was assigned to the Tamil Nadu cadre. He held various positions in the state government, including as the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes and as the Principal Secretary of Industries. He later moved to the central government and served as the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.
Das played a crucial role in introducing major reforms such as demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He was appointed as the Economic Affairs Secretary in May 2017, and in this role, he was responsible for the overall economic policies of the government. He was also responsible for the implementation of various reforms, including the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and the recapitalisation and merger of public sector banks (PSBs).
During his tenure as the Economic Affairs Secretary, Das was involved in the controversial decision to demonetise high-value currency notes in November 2016. The decision was aimed at curbing black money, corruption, and terrorism financing. While the move was criticized by many, Das defended the decision, stating that it was necessary to tackle the issue of black money and corruption in the country.
He also played a key role in the implementation of the GST, which came into effect on July 1, 2017. The GST replaced multiple indirect taxes and was aimed at simplifying the tax structure and increasing tax compliance. Das was instrumental in coordinating with the states to ensure the successful implementation of the GST.
Das has also been involved in various international forums and has represented India in the IMF, the G20, and the BRICS. He played a key role in the negotiations for the $22 billion IMF bailout package for India in 1991. Das was also the Sherpa for India at the G20 meetings in Hamburg and Buenos Aires.
As RBI Governor
In his role as the Governor of the RBI, Das has focused on maintaining financial stability and promoting economic growth. He has taken several measures to address the liquidity crunch in the non-banking financial sector and has also taken steps to strengthen the regulatory framework for banks and non-banking financial companies.
Under his leadership, the RBI has also taken various measures to deal with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The central bank has provided various regulatory relaxations to support the economy.
In conclusion, Shaktikanta Das is a seasoned bureaucrat who has played a key role in implementing major economic reforms in India. As the Governor of the RBI, he has focused on maintaining financial stability and promoting economic growth. His leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic has been instrumental in supporting the Indian economy.