The central board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is facing shortage of nine non-official directors, including seven from the category of people of eminence from various fields. The central board is the highest decision-making body of the apex bank headed by the RBI governor.
According to the RBI Act, the government nominates 10 eminent persons from various fields to the central board of the RBI, besides four directors (one from each of the four local boards).
The government is yet to appoint seven non-official directors from the category of people of eminence from various fields while representations from the local board from western and southern areas are missing.
Currently, only three eminent personalities — Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran, seasoned banker S K Marathe and chartered accountant and RSS ideologue Swaminathan Gurumurthy — are serving the central board. They are nominated under Section 8(1)(c) of the RBI Act, 1934, according to the RBI’s website.
With regard to directors from local boards, eastern area is represented by Sachin Chaturvedi and northern area by Revathy Iyer, while nomination of two directors is awaited.
These non-official directors are appointed for a period of four years and are eligible for re-appointment. In June last year, Chandrasekaran was re-appointed retrospectively as non-official director for a further period of two years beyond March 3, 2020.
Besides, there is a provision for two government officials to be appointed on the central board. Under this category, Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth and Financial Services Secretary Debasish Panda have been appointed as directors.
As far as official directors are concerned, the board has full representation with the governor and four deputy governors. Taking into consideration five official directors, the central board of the RBI as prescribed by the Act can have a total of 21 directors.
As many as four non-official directors, including Gujarat’s former chief secretary Sudhir Mankad and Mahindra & Mahindra’s former group CFO Bharat N Doshi, completed their term last year.
Other two directors, Prasanna Kumar Mohanty and Dilip S Shanghvi, served on the central board till February 8, 2021, and March 10, 2021, respectively. Eminent agriculture economist Ashok Gulati and Teamlease co-founder Manish Sabharwal also completed their term earlier this year.