Ex-Gujarat minister derides educational qualifications of RBI chief Shaktikanta Das

Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi

Often fondly referred to as a "bureaucrat's bureaucrat" by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Das was the main "face" of demonetization as he held daily press conferences to explain the multiple change of rules, at a time when Patel or any other RBI official did not.

The day Urjit Patel resigned as RBI Governor, Subramanian Swamy urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to dissuade RBI Governor Urjit Patel from leaving, saying his resignation would be wrong for the government, economy and the institution at this time. He said there should be free and fair discussion between the RBI and the government. A report by Bank of America Merrill Mynch said it expects the RBI's MPC to roll back at least 25 bps of the 50 bps rate hike in February or April. "This is what I think the PM should do", Swamy told PTI.

When Shaktikanta Das retired as secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, in May 2017, he got a Rs 1 note from the government with his signature on it as a farewell gift. He said, "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", while adding, "It was a pleasure for me to deal with him and benefit from his scholarship. Inflation outlook also looks fairly benign at this stage but we have to be very watchful of the developments", Mr. Das said in his opening remarks during an interaction with the media just ahead of the release of the November consumer price inflation number, which decelerated compared to the previous month.

Das said the banking sector faced many challenges and more measures needed to be taken.

Analysts said the move to open up a dialogue was positive.

Shaktikanta Das is a 1980 batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu cadre. He was succeeded by Subhash Garg the following year.

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