Millennium Post

Lok Ranjan to stay on ICICI Bank board despite transfer

New Delhi: The Finance Ministry on Friday said senior bureaucrat Lok Ranjan will continue to serve on the board of ICICI Bank as independent director despite his transfer to the personnel ministry.
On Thursday, the government transferred Ranjan, joint secretary in Department of Financial Services (DFS) to Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT), leading to speculation that he would no longer be on the board of ICICI Bank.
"Lok Ranjan will be government nominee director on the board of ICICI Bank despite his transfer," Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said here.
Any government official of rank of additional secretary or joint secretary can be appointed on the board of any financial institution where government has a stake, sources said.
Such appointments could be made from other than finance ministry also, if the government desires so.
A precedent of this was when Praveen Garg, who was earlier joint secretary in Department of Economic Affairs, continued to be on the board of IDBI Bank, despite being transferred to ministry of environment in March, they said.
Ranjan was appointed on the board of ICICI Bank last month in place of Amit Agarwal, another joint secretary in DFS.
Ranjan had on Monday and Tuesday skipped board meeting of ICICI Bank.
The reshuffling comes at a time when ICICI MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar is facing allegations of conflict of interest in sanctioning of Rs 3,250 crore loan to the Videocon group.
The CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry against Videocon founder Venugopal Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar, husband of Chanda Kochhar, and unidentified others.
The agency had questioned a few ICICI Bank officials to find out if any quid pro quo was involved in the bank issuing the aforesaid loan in 2017.
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