Government has appointed retired IAS officer and former financial services secretary Debasish Panda as chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) approved Mr Panda's appointment as chairperson of the insurance regulator initially for a period of three years from the assumption of charge, on Friday.
Mr Panda, a 1987-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, had retired as financial services secretary in January this year after a two-year stint.
The appointment of IRDAI chairman comes nearly 9 months after the vacancy was created following Subhash Chandra Khuntia completing his term in May 2021.
In April 2021, the finance ministry had invited applications to replace Mr Khuntia.
As per the procedure for the appointment of regulators, the name is suggested by the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee (FSRASC) headed by the cabinet secretary.
Based on interaction with eligible candidates, FSRASC recommends the name to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for its final approval.
The government has also appointed Rakesh Joshi, former executive vice president and group head (Debt Capital Markets), State Bank of India Capital Markets, as Whole Time Member (Finance and Investment) of IRDAI.
IRDAI is responsible for protecting the interest of insurance policyholders and bringing about speedy and orderly growth of the insurance industry (including annuity and superannuation payments), for the benefit of the common man and to provide long term funds for accelerating growth of the economy.
It also helps promote fairness, transparency and orderly conduct in financial markets dealing with insurance and build a reliable management information system to enforce high standards of financial soundness among market players.
IRDAI is a 10-member regulatory body consisting of a chairman, five whole-time members and four part-time members.