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To strengthen its research capabilities, regulator Sebi is planning to hire a chief economist, whose position will be equivalent to that of an executive director in terms of pay and benefits. A proposal in this regard would be discussed during the board meeting of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) tomorrow, an official said. It would be a first for Sebi to have a 'chief economist', who would be responsible for overall macro-economic scenario analysis including interplay of various financial sector regulatory activities. Among others, the officer would be instrumental in strengthening research and database management capabilities and backing regulations and strategy with sound economics. The position of chief economist would be equivalent to that of an executive director of Sebi in terms of pay, allowances and benefits. The person would be appointed for a three-year period and get a pay of Rs 55 lakh per annum.
The internal and external candidates would be considered for the post. However, this post will not add to the existing sanctioned number of posts (nine) for executive directors in Sebi. Currently, the regulator has a dedicated research team under the department of economic policy and analysis. The team maintains statistics for the entire capital market, publishes Sebi's monthly bulletin, annual report, reports on the economic outlook of the country as well as securities markets. Now, Sebi feels the need of appointing a chief economist to utilise its existing resources in a much better way in order to have a multi-pronged approach that connects Sebi's research and analysis functions with overall strategic objectives of the organisation, the official said. Earlier in 2011, an advertisement was issued by Sebi, inviting applications for the post of chief economist. However, it received a lacklustre response. Besides, the selection committee, constituted to scrutinise the applications, could not find a suitable candidate and accordingly the matter was closed.