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RBI panel to finalise dy governor next week

By BS Reporter in Mumbai
December 19, 2008 14:15 IST
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A selection committee, headed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D Subbarao, is scheduled to meet next week to shortlist candidates for the post of the deputy governor of the central bank.

Sources close to the development told Business Standard that the committee will consider all public sector bank chiefs for the post as no panel of names has been submitted by the government so far.

They indicated that bankers with up to 25 years of experience, including a minimum two-year stint as chairman and managing director, will be considered for the post.

Bankers see Bank of India Chairman and Managing Director T S Narayanasami and Punjab National Bank Chairman and Managing Director K C Chakrabarty as the front-runners for the post.

The committee is expected to finalise a panel of three names, as is the practice so far, and send it to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Apart from Subbarao, the panel comprises Finance Secretary Arun Ramanathan, Personnel Secretary Rahul Sarin and two external members, including former RBI deputy governor Vepa Kamesan.

RBI has four deputy governors and one post fell vacant earlier this month after V Leeladhar, a former public sector banker, completed his four-year term. Leeladhar was in charge of banking operations and supervision.

At present, the central bank has three governors - Rakesh Mohan, Shyamala Gopinath and Usha Thorat.

So far, the government and RBI have never had a selection committee for a deputy governor and this is the first time that the practice is being followed.

The move to constitute the selection committee follows an observation by the Delhi High Court, which had advocated that a system based on comparative assessment should be adopted. Former RBI executive director P K Thorat had challenged Usha Thorat's appointment in the Delhi High Court, which had led the court to make the observation.

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