Finance Ministry set to begin headhunting
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Nearly 10 months after the Securities Appellate Tribunal became headless, the finance ministry is set to begin the process of appointing its presiding officer. The SAT, which hears appeals against orders passed by Sebi, has been functioning without a presiding officer since November 2011 when Justice NK Sodhi retired.
"We are looking into it. The process for appointing a new presiding officer for SAT will soon start," a senior official told The Indian Express.
At present, SAT member PK Malhotra also presides over the proceedings, although official norms mandate that the presiding officer should be either a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court or chief justice of a high court.
Appointments to other crucial crucial posts in financial sector institutions are also gaining speed, with the finance ministry inviting applications for a member in the SAT. The move comes well in time before current incumbent SSN Moorthy retires after completing his two-year term this year-end.
The ministry has also begun the hunt for a member (distribution) for insurance regulator Irda. It has also invited applications for the post.
In a marked shift from its earlier approach of leaving key financial sector institutions headless as it dithered over appointments, the finance ministry has over the past few weeks become increasingly active in filling up long pending positions in financial sector institutions.
Last month, the finance ministry re-appointed Prashant Saran as a whole-time member of market regulator Sebi, which was functioning with only one out of three whole-time members. Another post of a whole-time director that fell vacant after Rajeev Agarwal retired is also likely to be filled up soon.
Meanwhile, the country's oldest mutual fund UTI is also in the final stages of appointing its new CMD after its earlier chief UK Sinha left to head Sebi. The firm has been been functioning with Imtaiyazur Rahman as an acting-CEO since January this year.
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