A Government search panel on Monday held interviews for the post of SEBI Chairman, which will fall vacant on February 17 next year after incumbent C. B. Bhave's term ends.

Mutual fund industry body AMFI Chairman U. K. Sinha, and Corporate Affairs Secretary R. Bandyopadhyay are considered front-runners for the post.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said SEBI should not be seen from the point of view of individuals, as it was an autonomous institution entrusted with the task of maintaining stability.

“It is not a question of individuals. SEBI is an institution and it is an autonomous body. SEBI is expected to play a role in stabilising the markets and it is doing a good job,” Mr. Mukherjee told reporters when asked about selection of SEBI Chairman.

The search panel expressed the hope that the new chairman would be appointed before the post falls vacant.

“The SEBI Chairman post would be vacant on February 17, 2011. Before that we would have the successor,” said Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla, who is part of the panel.

Other people in the race for the post include Department of Disinvestment Additional Secretary S. Pradhan, Madhya Pradesh Principal Secretary G. P. Singhal and two State Bank of India managing directors S. K. Bhattacharya and R. Sridharan. Out of those selected for the final interview, at least two — public sector lender SBI Chairman O. P. Bhatt and Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor K. C. Chakrabarty — expressed their unwillingness for the position, sources said.

The panel, headed by Cabinet Secretary K. M. Chandrasekhar, includes Financial Services Secretary R. Gopalan and Department of Personnel Secretary Shantanu Consul.

Mr. Bhave took charge as SEBI Chairman on February 18, 2008, on a three-year term.

Keywords: SEBIC.B. Bhave

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