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Shaktikanta Das reappointed RBI chief for three-year term


MUMBAI: Shaktikanta Das has been reappointed governor of the Reserve Bank of India for another term of three years. The decision, announced in a statement from the cabinet and effective when his current term ends December 10, will keep Das at the bank’s helm to help guide the economy’s recovery from the pandemic. Under Das, 64, the central bank endeavored to support growth and maintain liquidity through the worst of the pandemic by slashing interest rates and pursuing quantitative easing. India’s central bank now faces the risk of accelerating inflation just as the recovery from Covid-19 takes hold, a challenge policymakers globally are grappling with. India has been gradually recovering from a devastating second virus wave in recent months as new infections ebb from a record high in May. Meanwhile, increased vaccination and easing movement curbs have spurred a recovery in demand. The International Monetary Fund, as well as India’s central bank, this month estimated gross domestic product will grow 9.5% in the year ending March — the quickest pace among major economies — after contracting 7.3% last year. A career bureaucrat, Das was first appointed in 2018, after his predecessor Urjit Patel quit amid worries the government was encroaching on the central bank’s turf. As economic affairs secretary from 2015 to 2017, Das worked closely with the central bank 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.


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