Government Announces New Banks Board Bureau Chairman, Members

April 15, 2018

In a major restructuring of the Banks Board Bureau, the government removed Vinod Rai as the chairman and appointed Bhanu Pratap Sharma in his place. Sharma is an IAS, who is currently the Chairman of Recruitment and Assessment Centre at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Rai’s term as the BBB chairman had ended on March 31.

Three other new members have been appointed including Vedika Bhandarkar (former Vice chairman and MD of Credit Suisse India), P. Pradeep Kumar (former MD at State Bank of India), and Pradip Shah (former MD at Crisil ratings agency) who was previously an alternate member at BBB.

Vedika Bhandarkar, a former head of India investment banking at Credit Suisse, P Pradeep Kumar, a former managing director at top lender State Bank of India, and Pradip Shah who founded local ratings agency CRISIL, were named as the new members of the Banks of Board Bureau.

Chairman Sharma has held the posts of health secretary, secretary, department of personnel and training and principal secretary of Bihar.

Kumar is currently the Ex-officio member at the BBB along with Seema Bahuguna, Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Government of India and N. S. Vishwanathan Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, who is also ex-officio member.

Previously, Anil K Khandelwal, former chairman and MD at Bank of Baroda; HN Sinor, former joint MD at ICICI Bank; and, Rupa Kudwa, former MD & CEO at CRISIL, were members of the Bureau.

BBB was set up in February 2016 as an autonomous recommendatory body with the former Comptroller and Auditor General – Vinod Rai as the Chairman. It was created to help prepare the banks in the public sector universe to take on the competition, develop resilience, build capacity through talent and technology.

On March 19, almost 10 days before his term was to end, Rai had hit out at the Finance Ministry for sitting over its slew of recommendations for public sector banking reforms and also pointed to a a communication breakdown between the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government and the BBB.

Disclosing extracts of a letter sent by him to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to seek time for a meeting to discuss those issues, Rai listed out the need for “an organic relationship between the government and the bureau,” adding in the footnote that, “The bureau continues to await a meeting (with the FM).”

In a 60-page report titled ‘Compendium of recommendations’, Rai provided a point-wise status update highlighting the work done by the Bureau in the last two years.

He had mentioned this after RBI Governor Urjit Patel raised concerns at a public speech that its role as a regulator was limited with respect to PSBs, “which is not on the same lines as its engagement with the banking entities which are not in the public sector”.

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