Attacking the government for appointing Shaktikanta Das as RBI Governor, the Congress on Wednesday, December 12, alleged that he would play to the tunes of the government and that choosing a bureaucrat who defended demonetisation, instead of an eminent economist, will diminish the institution.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said Das was the second person to be appointed at a key post for defending the 2016 demonetisation move and it showed the government's insensitivity towards common people. The Congress leader was apparently referring to the recent appointment of Krishnamurthy Subramanian as the Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) as the first such instance.
"Government has appointed two persons who vocally supported demonetisation to two key posts. What does it say about the Modi government? Is government telling the people of the country 'we don't care what you think, we will do exactly as we please'?" Chidambaram said in a tweet.
The government on Tuesday, December 11, appointed Das, who as Economic Affairs Secretary steered the monetary situation post-demonetisation, as the new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, a day after Urjit Patel resigned amidst a tiff with the government on the central bank's autonomy.
Das emerged as the face of the government post-demonetisation, strongly defending the move as a step that would curb black money.
Earlier, the government had appointed Krishnamurthy Subramanian, a strong supporter of demonetisation and a critic of dynastic politics, as its CEA after Arvind Subramanian resigned.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal also attacked the government on Das's appointment saying the new incumbent would play to the tunes of the government.
"Shaktikanta Das our new RBI Governor... A bureaucrat not an economist... Defended demonetisation. The Pied Piper will play the tune and the RBI will follow. Inevitable outcome will be that RBI's reserves will be used for government doles. Yet another institution will diminish," he said in a tweet.
Das' appointment came at a time when the government and the RBI are engaged in a tussle over several issues including transfer of the central bank's reserves, over which Patel had reservations after the government hinted at forcing him using provisions of the RBI Act.