Center appoints ex-financial services secretary Debasish Panda as IRDAI chief

The government on Friday appointed former Finance Services Minister Debasish Panda as head of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Agency of India (IRDAI).

The Cabinet’s nominations committee has approved Panda’s appointment as chief insurance regulator for an initial period of three years from taking office, sources said.

Mr Panda, IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre since 1987, retired in January this year after two years as Financial Services Secretary.

The appointment of the IRDAI Chair comes almost 9 months after the vacancy was created after Subhash Chandra Khuntia completed his term in May last year.

In April 2021, the Treasury had submitted applications to succeed Mr. Khuntia.

Under the Regulatory Appointment Process, the name is proposed by the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointments Search Committee (FSRASC), led by the Cabinet Secretary.

Based on interactions with suitable candidates, FRASSC will recommend the name to the Cabinet Nominating Committee, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for final approval.

Prior to his appointment as Financial Services Secretary, Mr. Panda served as Associate Secretary, overseeing the Insurance and Financial Inclusion department.

He was also the government-nominated director on the IRDAI board and has served on the boards of several public banks and insurance companies. Panda was also on the board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

During his time in Uttar Pradesh he was Chief Secretary for Home Affairs and Agriculture and Cooperation, Resident Commissioner and CEO of the Greater Noida Authority.

Mr. Panda also served as Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Associate Director (Administration) of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

IRDAI is charged with protecting the interests of policyholders and bringing about the rapid and orderly growth of the insurance industry (including annuity and annuity payments) for the benefit of the common man and providing long-term funds to accelerate the growth of the economy.

It also helps promote fairness, transparency and regularity in insurance-related financial markets and build a reliable management information system to enforce high standards of financial soundness among market participants.

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