The government on Tuesday appointed Swaminathan Gurumurthy and Satish Kashinath Marathe as as part-time non-official directors on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board. The Cabinet's Appointments Committee approved their appointment following a proposal from the Department of Financial Services.
Gurumurthy, an economist and chartered accountant by profession, is also the co-convenor of RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch. He is also the editor of Tamil political weekly Thuglak. A vocal supporter of PM Narendra Modi's policies, Gurumurthy had defended the demonetisation of high value currency notes.
Story of my appointment as director RBI. This is the first directorship ever. Never accepted any private or PSU directorship. Not even audit of PSUs or Pvt cos. Wanted to be free to speak. But when pressure built up I am needed to do something in public interest I had to accept.- S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) August 8, 2018
Marathe, on the other hand, began his banking career with Bank of India, he then went on to become chairman of The United Western Bank Ltd. He is also the founder of Sahakar Bharati, an NGO that supports co-operatives in India. In September 1991, he was appointed chief executive officer of Janakalyan Sahakari Bank Ltd. He currently serves on the boards of Thane Bharat Sahakari Bank Ltd. and Rajkot Nagarik Sahkari Bank Ltd. Marathe has also served as honorary secretary of Indian Banks' Association and vice president of Private Sector Bank's Association. Marathe has been associated with BJP's youth wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
With these two appointments, RBI's board now has 10 government-appointed members. The board members of the central bank include Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, former Mahindra & Mahindra CFO Bharat Narotam Doshi, economist Ashok Gulati. Serving bureaucrats - Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Rajiv Kumar, Secretary, Department of Financial Services are also on the board.
"The Appointments Committee Of The Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services for the appointment of Shri Swaminathan Gurumurthy, as part-time non-official director on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India under Section 8(1)(c) of the RBI Act 1934, for a period of four years from the date of notification of the appointment...," the government notification stated. Both appointments are for a four-year term.
The RBI central board is split into official and non-official directors. The official directors include the governor and not more than four deputy governors. The RBI Act allows ten directors nominated by the government.