July 05 2020
Shaktikanta Das as RBI Governor: Sherpa scales the summit
12 December 2018

Man who brought industrial projects to T.N.

Shaktikanta Das, or Shakti, as he is known in IAS circles, is regarded as an extremely competent person, well-suited to handle the latest assignment of the Governorship of the Reserve Bank of India, according to his former colleagues in the Tamil Nadu cadre of the IAS.


Belonging to the 1980 batch of the service, Mr. Das, who hails from Bhubaneswar of Odisha, has got a “rich background” in handling matters concerning economics, be it at the Centre or in the Tamil Nadu government, says V.K. Subburaj, his batchmate who retired as Secretary of Pharmaceuticals in the Union government, and C.P. Singh, another retired IAS officer and former Chairman of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority.

Before moving to New Delhi to become Joint Secretary in the Expenditure Department of the Union Finance Ministry in November 2008, Mr. Das served the Tamil Nadu government as Industries Secretary in two spells, and as Commercial Taxes and Registration Secretary. As the Industries Secretary, he was responsible for bringing in a number of industrial projects to the State, recalls Mr. Subburaj.

An official of the State Finance Department says that during 1998-2001, Mr. Das was associated with the establishment of the Mahindra Industrial Park in Maraimalai Nagar, about 40 km from here. Between April 1989 and July 1991, he was Collector, one of the important stages of an IAS officer, in Dindigul district of southern Tamil Nadu.


After he moved to New Delhi to work at the Finance Ministry till his retirement in May 2017, he had worked in various positions, mostly in the Union Finance Ministry, looking after the departments of Revenue and Economic Affairs, points out Mr. Singh, adding that it is a matter of pride for the IAS community of Tamil Nadu that Mr. Das is the second officer from the State to hold the post of RBI Governor, next to S. Venkitaramanan.

Among his different assignments, the role of Economic Affairs Secretary was one of the most challenging, as he emerged as a prominent face of the government immediately after demonetisation in November 2016. His services were extended for three months in February 2017, after which he joined the 15th Finance Commission.

In 2016, a controversy erupted over his role in the allotment of land to an American firm when he had served in the State government. The Finance Ministry had defended Mr. Das and asserted that there was no wrongdoing on his part. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the row as “an unfair and false attack on a disciplined civil servant.”



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