Ajay Tyagi will continue to be the head of India’s capital and commodities markets regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for another six months. The Centre extended the appointment of Tyagi as Sebi chairman for a period of six months.
This is beyond February 29, 2020, or until further notice, whichever is earlier, the finance ministry said in a notification.
The extension comes on a day the benchmark Sensex logged one of its worst-ever crashes amid a global selloff due to the spread of coronavirus.
Market players said the extension will ensure continuity at a time when heightened volatility has roiled the markets.
Tyagi took over as Sebi chief in 2017 for a three-year term. Tyagi’s extension was approved by the appointments committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Tyagi’s predecessor UK Sinha, who was initially appointed for a three-year term, was also given multiple extensions. He remained at the helm for six years from 2011 to 2017.
The government initiated the search for Tyagi’s successor around January-end. It gave only two weeks time till February 11 to file the applications. About a dozen applied for the chairman’s post. Department of economic affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty, current whole-time member of Sebi Madhabi Puri Buch and corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas were tipped to be the front-runners to replace Tyagi.
The government is learnt to have called only a few applicants for interview last week. However, due to time constraints, it did not find the right candidate for the post, said sources.
The Sebi chairman’s position has always been given to bureaucrats, especially Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers, except on one occasion when former LIC chairman GN Bajpai became the chairman in 2002.