Mumbai: The Centre has started a search process to find the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). It has called for applications from interested candidates before February 10, according to a notice on the finance ministry’s website. Incumbent Sebi chief Ajay Tyagi’s three-year term ends in March. The 62-year-old, however, is eligible for reappointment as according to rules, a person can hold the chairman’s position until the age of 65.

In the past, Tyagi’s predecessor UK Sinha was given an extension, taking Sinha’s total number of years at the helm of the institution to six. Besides Tyagi, existing members on the Sebi board can apply for the chairman’s post. Sebi’s whole-time member Madhabi Puri Buch, whose tenure ends in April, is said to be a contender for the top role. The other names doing the rounds include N S Vishwanathan, deputy governor, RBI, and Injeti Srinivas, secretary, ministry of corporate affairs. Vishwanathan is currently on the board of Sebi, while Srinivas used to be a member.

Tyagi, the media-shy Sebi chief who hasn’t given a single interview during his term, has taken action in some of the high-profile cases, including unfair access to select brokers on the colocation platform of the National Stock Exchange, and alleged malpractices by Price Waterhouse in the Satyam scam. The Sebi chairman’s position equals that of a secretary in the government. According to the notice, the selected person will receive a monthly package of Rs 4.5 lakh, and s/he will hold the chairman’s position for at least five years.

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The appointment will be subject to vigilance clearance and other prescribed processes, it said. The candidates will be shortlisted by The Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee (FSRASC), which then will recommend the shortlist to the government. The FSRASC, headed by cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, is a panel that selects regulatory chiefs in India.





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