Ex-SBI MD Hemant Contractor cleared for pension fund Chairman

Ex-SBI MD Hemant Contractor cleared for pension fund Chairman

Former State Bank of India Managing Director Hemant Contractor is set to take over as new Chairman of Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) after government cleared his name for the top post.

"We have approved the name of Hemant Contractor as the new Chairman of PFRDA," Financial Services Secretary G S Sandhu told PTI here today. However, he didn't provide further details.

Contractor, who as MD handled international banking at India's largest lender, would fill a post at the pension watchdog that had been lying vacant for almost a year.
The post has been vacant since November after incumbent Yogesh Aggarwal quit following differences with the Finance Ministry over the appointment of a member of PFRDA.

When reached for comment, Contractor, who is currently in Pune, said he is yet to hear anything from the government on the issue.

Even though the interview for the regulatory head was conducted early this year, no decision was taken by the government. R V Verma, Whole-time member (finance), has been working as Acting Chairman of PFRDA. The other whole-time member of the body is B S Bhandari.

The challenges before the new Chairman will be how to popularise the New Pension System (NPS), which has not picked up so far despite undergoing several changes.
Lots of policy decisions are likely to be taken by the Chairman so as to give a boost to the NPS, which includes allowing corporates to subscribe to NPS, people in the know said.

Currently, over 10 players exist in the pension segment. Facilitating tax benefit to NPS subscribers, on the lines of life insurance policies, is also on the anvil.


Meanwhile, Sandhu said the Government is seriously working on the bifurcation of post of Chairman and Managing Director of public sector banks. Save for SBI, all state-owned banks have a single person holding the top post.

"Bifurcation of the PSU banks' CMD post is under consideration. A proposal is already there."

Asked about the pending appointments at a number of PSU banks, he said, "we are already on the job. There is an exercise which is on. Very soon we'll be able to fill up vacant positions."

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