Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Das has been named the ‘Governor of the Year’ by Central Banking Awards for cementing critical reforms, overseeing world-leading payments innovation and steering India through difficult times “with a steady hand and well-crafted turn of phrase.”
Central Banking Publication deals with the functioning of the central banks and public policy.
Das was appointed governor in December 2018 after his predecessor Urjit Patel suddenly opted to resign amid a high pitched debate over erosion of Central Bank’s autonomy as the latter cited interference from the Centre.
Many pundits were quick to write volumes about how Das’ entry into the haloed RBI would mark the end of the Central Bank’s autonomy.
Das, who unlike his predecessors does not hold a Doctorate in Economics—he holds a Master’s Degree in History.
But Das has proved that work can be done productively with dedication and “without brawls”. He has managed to stay away from controversy while being inclusive and open minded in his functioning style.
“Once considered an underdog, the man today stands tallest among other central bank governors the world over,” observed a retired government official who worked closely with Das.
Since Das took charge, he has had to face several “tests”. Steering the Indian economy through Covid 19 crisis, the Russia-Ukraine war, bringing in a digital revolution in the payments area are some of his achievements.
Through the pandemic, Das had his eyes fixed on revival of economic growth. The RBI’s mantra was “accommodative stance” over inflation. While the RBI let inflation rise above the 6 per cent level in 2020 at a later stage — once the economy started to pick up– the central bank started increasing interest rates in a bid to tame inflation.
“There was delicate balance in RBI’s handling of the entire pandemic situation. Our central bank must be given credit,” a policymaker told India Narrative.
The RBI has been once again nimble in shifting gears after the back to back collapse of two US banks– Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank impacting the global markets including the Asian bourses.
Snapdeal founder Kunal Bahl in a tweet said that social media groups are buzzing with appreciation for Indian regulators like RBI who have been consistently conservative. “There is no doubt that time and again, their approach has ring-fenced India from systemic risks. We have a lot to thank them for. Just ask those stuck in Silicon Valley Bank right now,” he tweeted.
Bahl is not alone. Many voices have come up echoing the same sentiment.
Also read: Team India reposes confidence in RBI amid US banking turmoil