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With 2-year extension likely, Buch may not be in the race for SEBI chief’s post

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on March 01, 2020

Madhabi Puri Buch   -  PTI

Senior IAS officers Atanu Chakraborty and Rajiv Kumar will now be top contenders

Madhabi Puri Buch, Whole Time Member (WTM) at SEBI, is likely to get a two-year extension. The government is expected to issue an order in this regard before the end of March, sources in the know told BusinessLine.

Buch was appointed in April 2017 and her three-year tenure ends in March. She was one of the front runners for the post of SEBI chief as the incumbent Ajay Tyagi who was to retire on February 29 was granted a six-month extension on February 28..

An extension to Buch as WTM will mean she is no longer being considered for the post of SEBI chair. This leaves two senior IAS officers — Atanu Chakraborty and Rajiv Kumar — as the top contenders for the post.

Main contenders

Both Kumar and Chakaraborty will have retired from services when the post of SEBI chief falls vacant, in September. The two are currently linked to the appointment process of key government officials.

There have been conflict of interest allegations in the past over SEBI appointments, and some have even reached the courts. But the government is mindful that there will be no such controversy when a retired IAS officer is appointed as SEBI chief, the sources said.

Chakraborty, the current Economic Affairs Secretary, is a 1985 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer. He retires next month. Kumar, a 1986 batch IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre, retired on February 29 as Secretary, Department of Financial Services.

While other WTMs of SEBI were appointed for five years, Buch had been given three years. Buch is SEBI’s first woman WTM and the first from the private sector to be appointed a SEBI board member. Earlier, SEBI members and chairmen were mostly from a public sector background.

Buch rose through the ranks at ICICI Bank to become MD, CEO at ICICI Securities. In 2011, she joined Greater Pacific Capital LLP in Singapore.

Published on March 02, 2020

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