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Uncertainty over RBI deputy Guv posts

The government is yet to decide on two deputy governor (DG) appointments in the Reserve Bank of India. K C Chakrabarty, one of the four DGs of RBI, retired on April 25 and the tenure of another, H R Khan, ended on July 3. Khan is eligible for an extension of two years.

According to norms, a DG can be appointed if below the age of 60, for a maximum of five years or till the age of 62, whichever is earlier. However, there were instances when the rules have been relaxed.

Khan, an executive director (ED) at the central bank, was promoted as DG on July 4, 2011, and given a three year term. He has several important portfolios, such as foreign exchange, external investments and operations, and internal debt management.

Of the four DGs, two are selected from outside RBI and the other two from within. Of the two outsiders, one is a commercial banker and the other is an economist. A search panel headed by the governor interviewed nine chief executives of public sector banks for Chakrabarty’s replacement. It was learnt Bank of Baroda Chairman S S Mundra was top on the search panel’s recommendations. The other strong contender for a DG position is Punjab National Bank Chairman K R Kamath.

Chakrabarty, who was chairman and managing director of Punjab National Bank and Indian Bank, was appointed a DG in 2009, for three years. In 2012, he was given another two years.

The central bank is planning to have one more DG; this would need a change in the rules. Till the time this is done, RBI has proposed to appoint a officer on special duty or chief operating officer with the rank of a DG. It also wishes to increase the number of FDs to 11, from nine at present. It has also been proposed that of the two additional EDs, one will be from the research cadre. At present, of the EDs, only one (Deepak Mohanty) is from the search cadre while all the others are from general cadres.

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