Government reconstitutes panel to select SEBI chief

As the search continues for next chief of the markets regulator Sebi, the government has reconstituted the search-cum-selection panel which would now include a representative from the Prime Minister's Office.

While the panel, headed by Cabinet Secretary, will continue to have Economic Affairs Secretary, the provision of the Finance Minister nominating up to two persons as members has been done away with.

Members of the revamped panel will accordingly include Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Economic Affairs Secretary and three experts of repute (who are to be nominated by the central government from a panel of experts in the fields of finance, economics, law, public administration, financial markets and other related subjects maintained by it), an official order said.

Earlier, the Committee did not have any member from the PMO, while there were two experts nominated by the Centre. The earlier rules also provided for appointment on the panel of "other person, if any, not exceeding two, as the Minister of Finance may nominate".

In case of selection of Whole Time Members for Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India), the Chairman of the regulatory body would continue to remain on the panel.

"The Chairman and every whole time Member shall be appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a search-cum-selection Committee," said the latest order, which modifies 23-year-old rules in this regard.

The move to amend Sebi (Terms and Conditions of Service of Chairman and Members) Rules, 1992, assumes significance as the government has already begun the search for a new Chairman of Sebi to succeed the incumbent U K Sinha, whose current tenure is scheduled to end on February 17, 2016.

Sinha, a 1976 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, assumed office as the Sebi chairman on February 18, 2011 when the previous UPA government was in the power. While Sinha was initially appointed with a three-year term, he was later given a two-year extension.

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