Govt gave Sebi chief Sinha 2nd extension to ensure ‘continuity’
Sinha first became the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) Chairman on February 18, 2011 with a three-year tenure, which was later extended by two years. Days before the end of his tenure in February this year, he was given another extension till March 1, 2017.
The government initiated the search and selection process in July last year to find Sinha's successor and it got as many as 50 applications and later shortlisted seven, as per the details disclosed in reply to an RTI application.
These seven included SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, whose name incidentally did not figure in the list of 50 applicants. Other shortlisted candidates were Additional Secretary to President, Thomas Mathew, erstwhile Forward Markets Commission Chairman Ramesh Abhishek, Sebi's whole time member Rajeev Kumar Agarwal, Competition Commission member M S Sahoo, former ICICI Bank veteran Madhabi Puri Buch and IDFC's Vikram Limaye. However, as the process for selecting a new Sebi Chairman was underway, it was decided that Sinha should be given another extension as he was eligible to hold the post till he attained the age of 65 years.
"It was agreed that given the excessive volatility in capital markets now mainly due to external factors, continuity may be desirable for Sebi Chairman," according to the Finance Ministry file notings shared in response to the RTI application filed by PTI.
In reply to the RTI application, the Finance Ministry also gave details of processes, including setting up of a Financial Sector Regulatory Appointment Search Committee (FSRASC) -- headed by Cabinet Secretary, for the appointment of new Sebi chief.
During the process of selection of the Sebi Chairman, meetings of FSRASC were held on January 7, 2016 and January 21, 2016.