RBI Deputy Governor appointment runs into trouble

A letter of objection to senior-most executives in the finance ministry and the apex bank, documenting alleged performance failures and ignoring of governmental appointment norms, may queer the pitch for the selection of the central bank’s new DG 

While RBI (Reserve Bank of India) Deputy Governor, Usha Thorat, has stepped down on Tuesday, 9th November, the appointment of Mr Anand Sinha as the new Deputy Governor has run into rough weather. We learn that the appointment has not been announced following a letter from Mr Deepak Mehra, who claims to be from the Forum for Financial Fairness in Mumbai. Writing to the Finance Minister, Mr Mehra has made some serious charges against Mr Sinha, which are confirmed by our sources in the RBI. However, the RBI has not responded to our query for its comments.

Mr Mehra alleges that Mr Sinha spent his entire career of three-and-a-half decades at Mumbai, barring short stints at Bhubaneshwar and Guwahati which were controversial.

Specifically, he says, that Mr Sinha was charge-sheeted for certain performance failures during his Guwahati stint, leading to a department inquiry and punishment in the form of reversal of two increments. This is considered a serious punishment at the RBI. Our sources say that the punishment was later reduced to the reversal of just one increment, but that he was indeed found guilty of dereliction at least, in his stint in the estates department.  As officer in charge at Bhubaneshwar, he was issued a "letter of displeasure" and shunted out halfway during his tenure. Mr Mehra alleges that this was due to "incompetence and failure to rise to the occasion".

According to Mr Mehra, Mr Sinha was then sidelined by shunting him to the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), where his tenure was again lacklustre. However, a more serious charge is that in selecting Mr Sinha, the RBI ignored "the government's own well-laid criteria of minimum residual service of one year." Mr Sinha apparently retires in February. 

Given the fact that Mr Mehra's letter has been sent to the Finance Minister, Finance Secretary, RBI Governor, Cabinet Secretary and Ms Omita Paul, Advisor to the FM, it is clear that an inquiry is on, since Mr Sinha's appointment has not been announced by the government. With a tenure of only until February, it seems certain that RBI may have to hunt for a new Deputy Governor, since the government is unlikely to court yet another controversy at a time when it has just been forced to sack Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Mr Suresh Kalmadi, a key figure behind the loot of funds at the Commonwealth Games.
 
Meanwhile, Deputy Governor KC Chakrabarty remains in the doghouse, because all of Ms Thorat's portfolios have been 'temporarily' handed over to Deputy Governor Ms Shyamala Gopinath.
 

Comments
Nagesh KiniFCA
1 decade ago
mr samskar or whoever you are please have the courage to unmask your identity. do you want to be an 'whitsel blower anonymous and yet remain in the lime light and want to eat the cake and have it too?
samskar
1 decade ago
There is something called samskar in Hindu religion. All that have been written in this blog about Mr Sinha of RBI says all bad things about him. But it does not say why despite so called incompetence Mr Sinha was brought back to the mainstream from DICGC. Does Ms Dalal not know Mr Sinha is one of the most knowledgeable officers of RBI when it comes to banking regulation and supervision? Why has she underplayed it or totally omitted to mention it?

For the other readers , it is worthwhile to know , it is not a case of whistle blowing. It is malicious and silly and mean allegations by people who do not know what they are doing and who do it with malice.
And by quoting those people and by not mentioning the overwhelming fact that Mr Sinha is one of the most non-controversial, well behaved, polished, knowledgeable officers of RBI, Ms Dalal is doing great disservice to the cause of public policy and unbiased journalism.
Ravindra Shetye
Replied to samskar comment 1 decade ago
"non-controversial, well behaved, polished, knowledgeable" are good 'qualities'. What is required for the higher positions is the 'capability' and 'application of the capabilities' which results (normally) in above par 'performance'. Just having the qualities mentioned by Samskar may make a 'good person', not necessarily a good 'performer'.
samskar
Replied to Ravindra Shetye comment 1 decade ago
it is both for Ravindra and rakesh and all other readers too.

The key issue is Mr Sinha is not just knowledgeable. He is competent too. Yes he is competent. The fact that Ms Sucheta Dalal knows some instances where there were issues suggesting his incompetence does not make him incompetent. There are two reasons for this:
One, who told Ms Dalal about it? Should she not try to know whether similar such things could be there in the record of other people in RBI. I have no idea, I have no insiders information. I dont work for RBI. But I know one thing. RBI is a competent and transparent organisation. Nobody can go unpunished, howsoever mighty he may be. This I know due to my close association with RBI through close friends. That is why these things could be on record as far as Mr Sinha is concerned.
But one has to look at the extent and severity of the issues. Is he dishonest? The clear answer is no. Mind you, in this country today and at this juncture, one of the criteria to judge one's competence is one's honesty. You know , why? Because it is in such short supply. Look at what is happening around.

Well, the same type of things could be there for others too. Has Ms Dalal enquired with her sources? Let her please. You said had a person like Mr Sinha been there in private sector , he would have been sacked long back. What could be farther form truth? You just dont know how incompetent Indian private sector is and how corrupt and incompetent their officials are including the very senior people. Lets not think of private sector in India through a Tata lense or an Infosys lense. Indian private sector is as incompetent and dishonest as Indian people in general could be or Indian society could be. In fact that is not the issue.

The point actually is, competence is a relative and contextual thing. You can dub anybody as incompetent on many grounds and any ground. I am not arguing. Just believe me. I see a thing or two in the reporting , that calls into question its credibility . Why his competence in matters have not been reported? That is the key question!! Well, he is not all the way incompetent. He has lot many competencies. What about others? WHO gave her these sets of information, how credible they are and how relevant they are in the context.? The bigger question is has she checked why these instances were ignored by the people who selected Mr Sinha. Has she checked who were the people who selected them? How competent they are to assess the competence of the persons they were assessing for th epost of RBI Deputy Governors position? Are they selectors incompetent? What is the central issue in this reporting?

Competence is a spectrum across time and space. In a carreer spanning across 30 0r 40 years , well whatever the length is, any one would have faltered, slipped and made mistakes. They dont make the person incompetent, especially when you know of it because the system in which the person was working has a solid culture of transparency. They dont make the person incompetent , when in many other organisations serious events involving bribery, criminal conspiracy, losses, blah blah are deep rooted and nobody get caught, not to speak of instances of negligence and incompetence. RBI is not like that, it is not like defending any body, but trying to point out that the reporting is not unbiased and borders on sensationalism fed by insiders.

And lastly, it all depands on what we mean by competence. It is not definitely pushing files successfully , without taking real decisions , marking papers up and down. Such people can easily pass off as competent people, as they do not take risk of taking a decision or they decently and carefully avoid taking the decision. And they would never be found making mistakes. That does not make the persons competent, but unfortunately many including Ms Dalal would be happy believing that they are competent, without mistakes, without abilities to take well considered decisions involving large system like the financial and banking system of India. to my mind we are not looking at adequate facts, not looking at the things on balance. It has been made aou to be an absolute thing about a man unmindful of his achievements, abilities and professional track record on the basis of two events which the organisation itself has not viewed seriously not once , but many times in the past while taking critical decisions on his promotions and placements.



sucheta Dalal
Replied to samskar comment 1 decade ago
Mr Samskar

Suggest that you don't come to this website only when you have to defend someone. Frankly, it is counter-productive even for the person you are trying to defend.
You are clearly an RBI insider or at least close to Mr Sinha. In that case you know exactly how it functions. How it shuts out people. How RBI does not believe in facts, meritocracy or even experience, while dealing with insider and outsiders.
And you cannot have missed its tactics to control and influence the media.
As for whether or not we write about others, read the reports on the top right hand side of our home page. Also watch this space, there is a lot more coming.
sucheta
samskar
Replied to sucheta Dalal comment 1 decade ago
There you are Ms Dalal. I knew you would come up to defend. Thanks for the suggestion, not to come to this website only when I have to defend someone.

I have a suggestion!! Please make access to your site restricted to people who would only read what you write and compliment you ( that would be the terms and conditions for access) or restrict it to members who you admit after screening. In which case I am sure you would ensure that you dont admit RBI insiders or people close to RBI or close to people or organisations you would ve writing against.

Just a couple of clarifications. I am not defending Mr Sinha, I am not an insider, I am not close to Mr Sinha. I of course know Mr Sinha professiionally. And I did not come to the site to defend him. I accidentally saw the report while googling for some thing. I am not defending him, but I dont mind if what I am doing effectively defend him. I am attacking your style of reporting, your use of media to do a thing which may pass the test of fairness. If in that process Mr Sinha gets defended, it vindicates what I am trying to put across. The very fact that you are suggesting me not to defend him on this site means you are uneasy about what I am saying. If that is so , true professionalism would have prompted you to say something more about what you have already said, especially youo should have said why despite your conviction that RBI does not believe in truth, you have taken the information given to you by RBI insiders as truth. Why despite your awareness that RBI tries to control and influence the media , you have allowed yourself to be controlled and influenced by the RBI insiders. Is it not ironical?

I will still say Mr Sinha is competent. and would suggest that you assess it otherwise, instead of depending on RBI insiders. I will tell you in the evening when I am back , provided you dont decide to shut me out. Till then please introspect.
Vilas
Replied to samskar comment 1 decade ago
samskar....what a name. Why dont you reveal your identity so that everyone will know who is hiding behind the mask. Sucheta Dalal is saying what she wants without any mask, then why not to use the same for you as well.
Rakesh
Replied to Vilas comment 1 decade ago
Every comment of this fellow is 1000 words of blather, blown from behind a curtain.
To argue with a person who does not even want to reveal his name and is going blah blah blah without a making a single point of fact is simply a waste of time. I urge the administrator of moneylife website to stop being so democratic. We want to know facts, not endless strings of meaningless words. Please approve his next 2000 words of drivel if it all it has an iota of fact and not only designed make personal attacks
sucheta Dalal
Replied to samskar comment 1 decade ago
Wake up to a few facts Mr anonymous RBI insider.
Remember this is a website run by us. We could easily delete your quote or block you. We have chosen not to do that and to allow your posts in the public domain.
That is only because we, as a policy, believe in discussion and debate and do attempt to get other sides to a story.
If you persist with mindless comments about "restricting" access etc, you may force our hand.
Incidentally, it is the Reserve Bank of India that adopts a policy of restricting access and gagging media by exclusion.
Since you know so much about the internal workings of the RBI, I am sure you also know that the Reserve Bank of India has been pretty vindictive about me ever since the 1992 Harshad Mehta scam embarrassed the Reserve Bank which was found napping.
Has the RBI ever found it fit to appreciate the fact that a scam of great magnitude was exposed and that it helped clean up the system?

Sucheta
Rakesh
Replied to samskar comment 1 decade ago
Blah, blah, blah
Not one iota of fact or evidence.

RBI is opaque, unaccountable and a fief of some very mediocre people.

Kuods to Ms Dalal for training her guns on this organisation. Look forward to many such pieces.
rakesh
Replied to samskar comment 1 decade ago
Samskar believes that what drives India is meritocracy! How stupidly naive.
Cant he see around that so many incompetent officials and politicians rising to the top! Why is it such a surprise ?
A journalist's job is not to distribute character certificates. Mr Sinha's godfather and godmothers are doing a very good job of it.
If Mr Sinha was in the private sector this "non-controversial, well behaved, polished, knowledgeable" officer would have been sacked long ago. Anything goes on inside the unaccountable RBI.
In fact, we would like to see many more exposes of this kind, especially since the mainstream media is simply doing paid news.
Smaskar should be reading the mainline dailies and news channels and feel happy. We read Ms Dalal for honest and bold writing. We dont want that diluted.
nagesh kini
1 decade ago
addition to
Mera bharat mahan

Magar hum sub bahoot pareshan
Kyu ki 99% to hai maha beimaan!
p y k
1 decade ago
this really frightening. i had very clean and efficient image of axis bank, show case of public sector turned into pvt sector etc....it is GOLMAL , as bad as cwg / 2 g license cases. mera bharat mahan!!
nagesh kini fca
1 decade ago
thank you sucheta for putting mr. mehra's letter in public domain. the facts are very damaging, such persons certainly not be 'kicked up', anywhere, least off at rbi.
the three ladies - no gender bias - dgs - i have the privilege of initially meeting them professionally in their earlier avatars as Exchange Controls -Bengaluru, Chennai and Ahmedabad respectively and personally there after.
They were among the few who were a pleasure to deal with in those heady days of FERA. They deserve to be succeeded by some one equally good and not anyone with a shady non performance past!
SANJAY PRABHU
1 decade ago
Indian Financial System is here to collapse at any time, as every Senior Banker wants to make money through various frauds. Senior functionaries from Axis Bank is also involved in various frauds and if the RBI appoints such corrupt officials to the post of Dy Governor, then i am sure that public money is not safe under the supervision of RBI


Majority of the Axis Bank branch employees are already under tremendous pressure of handling customer complaints & frauds popping up daily at one or other branches, collapse of the operational systems due to staff resignation and failure of HR polices, tremendous business pressure of mis-selling Max New York Life Insurance and on the other side involvement of central and zonal offices in various frauds with the Govt Accounts, Defense Accounts frauds, Defense Employee unclaimed salary A/c frauds, Defense Employee unclaimed pension A/c frauds, Retail Assets frauds, Excise & Income Tax Frauds, Capital Market frauds, IPO Reimbursement Frauds, ATM Cash Shortage Frauds of more than 60 crores, Debt Relief Fund Frauds, Unclaimed DD/PO frauds, ATM / Interior Decoration and Branch premises lease rental frauds, Issuing Fake Term Deposit to customers and government authorities at Jabalpur Bhopal & Kashipur other branches, Agri Credit Frauds, 165 crores Priority Sector Lending frauds at Bhopal and other centers, One time Loan settlement fraud at Nashik and other agri credit centers, Debt relief waiver fraud at Rajkot and other centers etc., where in the bank has breached the trust with Government of India and the State Governments. Government and the investors in general has lost the faith and the trust of erstwhile UTI Bank which transformed SOLUTIONS FOR LIFETIME to THERE'S ALWAYS A SOLUTION for business & personal growth of senior management through high level frauds.
venkat
Replied to SANJAY PRABHU comment 1 decade ago
Mr Prabhu
I hope you are working in AXIS,and the feelings shows that. Being a banker,am really worried and astonished to know all these facts. I think its going to be really tough in the near future.
SANJAY PRABHU
Replied to venkat comment 1 decade ago
Dear Sir,

I am the victim of whistleblower, and soon I will be sharing the true facts with Investors of Axis Bank through all the social websites like face book, twitter etc. Presently you can view my blog on CA Club.

http://www.caclubindia.com/blog/will-rbi...

http://www.caclubindia.com/blog/letter-f...

Sanjay Prabhu
Shareholder of Axis Bank
Ravindra Shetye
Replied to SANJAY PRABHU comment 1 decade ago
I am a customer of Axis Bank (formerly UTI Bank) for past 10 years and must say that I am fully satisfied with Axis Bank service compared to three other Indian Banks, equally large or larger than Axis Bank.
sanjay prabhu
Replied to Ravindra Shetye comment 1 decade ago
Service know doubt, branch employees are taking good care, but seniors are number one fraudsters, there is total disatisfaction among the branch employees
K B PATIL
Replied to SANJAY PRABHU comment 1 decade ago
Thank you Mr. Prabhu for enlightening us about Axis Bank. I had not the slightest idea about this and was of the opinion that Axis Bank was one of the best private sector bank. Looks like nothing is sacred now in our country.
INVESTORS FORUM
Replied to K B PATIL comment 1 decade ago
See their AD Bank Comes home to loot you
SANJAY PRABHU
Replied to K B PATIL comment 1 decade ago
Dear Sir,

I am the victim of whistleblower, and soon I will be sharing the true facts with Investors of Axis Bank through all the social websites like face book, twitter etc. Presently you can view my blog on CA Club.

http://www.caclubindia.com/blog/will-rbi...

http://www.caclubindia.com/blog/letter-f...

Sanjay Prabhu
Shareholder of Axis Bank
Pvt Bank Employees And Investors Protection Forum
Replied to SANJAY PRABHU comment 1 decade ago
Audit Department is headed by non professionals, where as all other banks Audit Dept., is headed by a Senior Chartered Accountant, so see the future of Axis Bank.
BEIP FORUM
Replied to Pvt Bank Employees And Investors Protection Forum comment 1 decade ago
Education loan racket caught in Delhi : Axis Bank opened fraudulent Accounts

Pune Job aspirant duped of Rs 10 lakh : Axis Bank opened fraudulent Accounts
Ravindra Shetye
1 decade ago
It is incredible that these serious performance blots are brought to light by a whistleblower, but were completely ignored so far by those who were conducting the selection and hence must be having access to Mr. Sinha's personal file. It is pure cycophancy that Mr. Sinha could manage to contend for RBI Dy Governor's post.
Incredible India.
Kudos to Mr. Mehra. We need more such Mehras.
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