As the government is yet to find a replacement for Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn, it today gave him a one-month extension. Gokarn’s three-year term at the central bank is coming to an end on November 24, but the government has not decided on his successor yet.
An order to this effect by the government today said Gokarn’s term had been extended till December 31 or until further orders, whichever was earlier, a finance ministry official said.
Though the order did not give any reasons for the extension, officials said since the process of appointing a new deputy governor would take time, a short-term arrangement has been made.
The search panel, headed by RBI Governor D Subbarao, met for the third time on November 19 to discuss names of possible candidates for the post. It is learnt to have shortlisted three names, two of whom are working with international organisations and settled outside India. One of the candidates has worked with the government in the past.
When asked if he will appear for the interview for re-appointment, Gokarn declined to comment on the issue. “The decision lies with the finance ministry,” he said at the sidelines of an event in Mumbai.
The finance ministry is trying to find a candidate with strong credentials to replace Gokarn who, along with his boss Subbarao, decided to keep policy rates untouched in the last monetary policy review. The move had left the finance ministry sulking. RBI, on the other hand, is pushing for Gokarn’s re-appointment arguing he is the right candidate for the job and has proved his credentials.
The search panel, which also comprises Department of Financial Services Secretary D K Mittal, Department of Personnel & Training Secretary P K Misra and two independent experts, could further shortlist two names and send those to Finance Minister P Chidambaram for his approval.
This is the first time a search panel is looking at the re-appointment of a deputy governor without straightaway giving an extension.
Gokarn, who was Chief Economist with Standard & Poor’s Asia-Pacific, was appointed Deputy Governor of RBI in 2009.
Besides economic research and policy, statistics and information management, the 53-year-old also handles monetary policy department and represents RBI at G20 meetings.