Shaktikanta Das has been reappointed as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India for second term of three years, a statement from the cabinet announced the decision. This is effective when his current term ends December 10, and will Das at the bank’s helm to help guide the economy’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under 64-year-old Das, the central bank strived to support growth and maintain liquidity through the worst of the pandemic times by cutting interest rates and pursuing quantitative easing.
The Reserve Bank of India now faces the risk of speeding up inflation just as the recovery from Covid-19 takes hold, a challenge that policymakers are grappling with around the world.
As new infections ebb from a record high in May this year, India has been gradually recovering from a devastating second wave of the pandemic in recent months. Meanwhile, increased vaccination drives and easing movement curbs have stirred a recovery in demand.
This month, the International Monetary Fund, including RBI estimated that gross domestic product will grow 9.5% in the year ending March, the quickest pace among major economies after contracting 7.3% last year.
IDas, a career bureaucrat was first appointed in 2018, after his predecessor Urjit Patel quit amid worries the government was intruding on the central bank’s turf.
Das worked closely with the central bank as economic affairs secretary from 2015 to 2017 and oversaw Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden and controversial move to ban high-value currency notes in late 2016, which hurt the economy and led to thousands of job losses.