History Graduate is RBI Governor
Hours after a massive electoral drubbing in several states, a Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi headed committee on Tuesday appointed controversial retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shaktikanta Das with a tainted past as the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Why Modi would choose a post graduate in History and a career bureaucrat to be the Governor especially when India’s finances are in such a delicate shape is a million dollar question. Das is close to tainted, corrupt Finance Minister P Chidambaram (PC) and sabotaged many PC probes while in the Modi Government and this “reward” therefore beggars belief.
For the past three years PGurus has reported several frauds of Shaktikanta Das. Be it a land allotment scam in Tamil Nadu or attempts to scuttle Aircel-Maxis scam, or telling lies in the apex court to sabotage Aircel-Maxis scam, Das has been diligent in trying to save his old master Chidambaram. As Revenue Secretary, Das sabotaged Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)’s probe on Coal Import and Power plant import scam worth Rs.30,000 crores involving Adani, Essar, Reliance Power among others.
At one point Modi shifted Das to Economic Affairs and it was during Demonetisation that we saw how Shaktikanta Das messed up with the implementation. He would come daily to hold press conferences and kept changing the rules. At one point, he announced putting ink mark on the persons exchanging old notes with the Banks! The current Finance Minister’s knowledge of Economics has been accused to have been fittable on the back of a postage stamp. Perhaps the FM wanted a pinhead.
It is an open secret that he is close with the scamsters in IL & FS.
— Sucheta Dalal (@suchetadalal) December 11, 2018
PGurus reported about the land allotment scam by Das when serving in Tamil Nadu during Karunanidhi regime. He allotted 100 acres to a US firm Sanmina SCI Corporation in 2007 at an old price fixed in 1970. When PGurus published this report, Finance Ministry came with a wishy-washy statement to save Das to which we gave a fitting reply.
As Revenue Secretary in October 2014, to save his old master Chidambaram, Das changed Enforcement Directorate’s Advocate K K Venugopal (now Attorney General) at midnight over the phone and appointed a new lawyer to tell a lie in the Supreme Court (SC). The Revenue Department told a blatant lie in the court that all the probes in Aircel-Maxis case are over and hence the Investigating Officer Rajeshwar Singh can be transferred. This lie was uttered on the petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. It is obvious that without Chidambaram’s buddy Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, pliable Das would not have gone to this extent. In this case, SC rejected all fake arguments of the Revenue Department and ordered for the permanent absorption of Rajeshwar Singh in ED’s service and also ordered for continuation as Investigating Officer till the end of the trial.
In 2015, CBI asked Shaktikanta Das several times for cooperation in Aircel-Maxis and the cunning officer played all frauds to save Chidambaram.
Even after Prime Minister’s Modi’s order, Das delayed for more than 10 months in DRI’s probe in Coal Import scam. DRI’s request to get the bank transaction details of coal importing firms were held up by this tainted officer till he quit the Revenue Department.
Even after retirement, Arun Jaitley recommended him for the post of a Member in the Finance Commission. Being a person from Odisha, Shaktikanta Das is always supported and protected by P K Mishra, a senior colleague from Odisha, who is an Additional Principal Secretary to the PM. Mishra served seven years with Sharad Pawar during his tenure as Agricultural Minister and landed in Modi’s PMO too as a powerful officer.
Poor management of the economy and the coterie of uncouth officers in PM’s secretariat are the main reasons for the electoral debacle of BJP in the Hindi heartland. But it seems that even after these setbacks, Modi appears to not want to read the writing on the wall. Appointment of a tainted administrative officer Shaktikanta Das, that too a History post-grad to head RBI shows that.
 Shaktikanta Das involvement in a controversial land deal in Chennai, 100 acres allotted at a pittance – Jul 4, 2016, PGurus.com
 Did Shaktikanta Das go slow in CBI’s probe against Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis case? – Jul 7, 2016, PGurus.com
 DRI show cause notices to Adani, Reliance Infra & Essar on coal import scams as PSU Banks hide details – Sep 15, 2016, PGurus.com