The top job at the Competition Commission of India (CCI) appears to have become a much sought-after position, both for retired as well as serving government officials. Around 100 applications have been received for the post of CCI chairperson and the list of applicants include bureaucrats, economists and the six members currently working with the competition watchdog.
This stands in contrast with around 50 applications received by the government for the top post in Securities and Exchange Board of India, as incumbent chairman UK Sinha is set to retire on February 17. Ashok Chawla, the CCI chairman, is set to complete his term on January 7, 2016. Those vying for the CCI top post include urban development secretary Madhusudan Prasad; Bimal Julka, who retired as I&B secretary in August 2015; Subir Gokarn, former RBI Deputy Governor and Harsha Vardhana Singh, former deputy director general at WTO, among others. Six CCI members — SL Bunker, UC Nahta, MS Sahoo, Sudhir Mital, Augustine Peter and GP Mittal — have also applied for the post.
It is noteworthy that the government has already started the process of filling the position that will go vacant only in January. Last time, while Dhanendra Kumar, the first chairman of CCI, completed his tenure in June 2011, Ashok Chawla was appointed in October 2011, after a gap of four months.
A government source said that since the location of CCI is to be Delhi/NCR, a large number of retired bureaucrats and even serving officials have evinced interested. Even though it is a fairly new regulator (established in 2003 and became fully functional in 2009), the ambit of CCI is quite wide as all cases that deal with competition and position of dominance fall under its purview.
While the applications for the post were invited by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the last date for submission was October 23, 2015. While the term of the job is five years or 65 years of age (whichever is earlier), the CCI chairperson would be paid a consolidated monthly salary of Rs 4.5 lakh. The selected candidate will, however, not be entitled to a house or a car.