Critical vacancies in regulatory posts stare at the new govt

There are 19 such positions that have become vacant or are due to become soon in the 14 key financial and real sector regulators.

Written by Sandeep Singh | New Delhi | Published: May 14, 2014 12:39 am

A flurry of appointments at the economic regulatory bodies are expected to begin almost as soon as the new government takes charge at the Raisina Hill.

There are 19 such positions that have become vacant or are due to become soon in the 14 key financial and real sector regulators.

Topping the list is the appointment of two deputy governors at the Reserve Bank of India. These will be the two successors to KC Chakrabarty and HR Khan.

The deputy governors will, in turn, be members of the selection committees that will recruit public sector bank chairmen and executive directors. Around 12 such posts will come up till March 2015.

Analysts and markets will also keenly watch who moves into the corner room at the Forward Markets Commission, the regulator for the commodity futures market.

On April 15 the government has issued advertisements for the appointment of a new chairman to clear up the debris post the collapse of NSEL, the arrest of Jignesh Shah and to set a path for the eventual merger with the securities market regulator. A member too has to be appointed to the commission.

Even the appointments to the pension regulator will be another hot spot. The outgoing government held interviews for the chairmanship and three full-time members but none has been appointed so far. For the new government promising to expand the social security network for workers in the unorganised sector, these appointments will be important. The position of the chairman has been lying vacant since Yogesh Agarwal resigned from PFRDA chairman’s post in November 2013, almost 20 months before his term expired.

Similarly, as the government plans to bring in legislation to raise the foreign investment in the insurance sector to 49 per cent from the current 26 per cent, it has to also fill up the gaps in the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. The regulator has not been able to appoint a member-actuary since 2011; it also has to fill the position of member-life. With reforms in the electricity sector becoming critical, the appointments to four vacancies at the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission will be closely watched. Members at the Competition Commission of India, the Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority and at Inland Waterway Authority too have to be named.

Each of these bodies will play an important role in the policy domain of the new government. All the major parties have flagged these sectors for major investment and reforms.

The government also has to fill two vacancies at two appellate tribunals as a member each has to be appointed at Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal and Cyber Appellate Tribunal.

Other than these, the new government will also have to appoint a chairman and four members for the coal regulator whose formation was been cleared by the UPA II government and is now awaiting clearance from Parliament.

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