The government on Thursday appointed former department of personnel and training secretary Bhanu Pratap Sharma chairman of the Banks Board Bureau (BBB). Sharma replaces former comptroller and auditor general (CAG) Vinod Rai, whose two-year term as the first head of the BBB got over on March 31.
The government on Thursday appointed former department of personnel and training secretary Bhanu Pratap Sharma chairman of the Banks Board Bureau (BBB). Sharma replaces former comptroller and auditor general (CAG) Vinod Rai, whose two-year term as the first head of the BBB got over on March 31. The other new members of the BBB are Vedika Bhandarkar, former managing director (investment banking and global markets) at Credit Suisse India; P Pradeep Kumar, former managing director at State Bank of India; and Pradip P Shah, founder managing director at Crisil. They will replace earlier BBB members — former ICICI Bank joint managing director HN Sinor, former Crisil chief Roopa Kudva and former Bank of Baroda chief Anil K Khandelwal — as their term also got over at the end of March. The BBB continues to have public enterprises secretary Seema Bahuguna as a member, while financial services secretary Rajeev Kumar and Reserve Bank of India deputy governor NS Vishwanathan remain ex-officio members.
Announcing the appointments, the financial services secretary said in a tweet: “Govt renews commitment to not interfere in Sr level appointments in PSBs.” He said new BBB with professionals with diverse expertise will select top management at public sector banks (PSBs). He added that recommendations by the board made so far, including HR reforms agenda, will be taken forward. The BBB was the centre of intense focus recently when, in a compendium of its work over the past two years, it suggested that the finance ministry was sitting over some of its suggestions and sought a more “organic” relationship with it. The report also suggested that a request for a meeting with finance minister Arun Jaitley, sought on July 26 last year, was still pending.
However, subsequently, Rai himself clarified that the finance minister had met him on several occasions, even after July last year, and took him into confidence on various issues, including on the transfer of two chiefs of PSBs last year. In an interview to PTI, he also dismissed suggestion that there was a lack of coordination between the board and the government, and that the rapport was total. The report came amid intense public scrutiny over the functioning of PSBs following the $2-billion fraud at Punjab National Bank. “The Bureau, as a body of experts on public sector banking, would be able to provide greater utility to the Finance Minister on matters relating to the governance and performance of PSBs, if there were to be greater organic linkage and dialogue with the finance ministry,” the BBB report had said. To usher in governance reforms in PSBs, the government had set up the BBB in 2016 under Rai, in sync with the recommendations of the PJ Nayak committee. The bureau started functioning formally from April 1, 2016, as an “autonomous recommendatory body”.