With several public sector banks and financial sector regulators functioning without a full-time chief, the government is set to fill the top positions in October.
Kicking off the exercise, the government has brought Hemant Contractor, former managing director of the State Bank of India as the chairman of the Pension Fund Regulatory Authority of India (PFRDA).
A former official at the Life Insurance Corporation of India AP Singh is leading the race for the position of Member – Life at the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda).
Sushobhan Sarkar, former MD of LIC, who was the top contender for the Irda position has been appointed as director of the National Insurance Academy.
Six public sector banks are functioning without a chairman and managing director now. The appointment of CMDs has been delayed following the government’s move to tighten the selection process and split the role of chairman and MD. “The government may opt for the old method of CMD without bifurcation of the roles at least in some of the banks. It can’t afford to delay appointments indefinitely,” said a government source.
Interviews for executive directors and CMDs were held during the UPA regime, and the NDA government is set to continue the process that was left unfinished. Over two dozen General Managers were interviewed by the panel, appointed by the UPA government for selection of executive directors, last December.
The only appoint made after that process was that of SM Swati, a former general manager of the Corporation Bank, who is executive director of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank effective August 16.
As for CMDs, the chairs are vacant at Indian Overseas Bank after the retirement of M Narendra, Canara Bank after the retirement of RK Dubey, and Oriental Bank of Commerce after the retirement of SL Bansal. The CMDs of Union Bank of India, Vijaya Bank, Punjab National Bank and Allahabad Bank are also set to retire within six months.
Bank of Baroda has a vacancy at the top after SS Mundra left to join the RBI as deputy governor and United Bank of India after resignation of Archana Bhargava. The arrest of SK Jain on alleged bribery charges has left Syndicate Bank without a head.
The government is set to announce new CMDs for some of these banks by October 22, sources said.
The government is also in the process of identifying a candidate to head the National Insurance Company. The government has withdrawn AV Girija Kumar from the role of officiating CMD and K Sanath Kumar of New India Assurance is leading the race to head National Insurance.