Mumbai: Amidst the economic downturn and the uncertain outlook due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre has further extended the term of the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) current chairman Ajay Tyagi by 18 months to ensure continuity. Tyagi will remain in office until February 28, 2022.
In March 2017, Tyagi, an IAS officer from the 1984 batch, was appointed as SEBI chairman for three years, until February 28, 2020. He was given an extension of six months, due to end this month.
The Centre had even launched an exercise to appoint Tyagi’s successor. However, the department of personnel and training, in its order issued on Wednesday, extended Tyagi’s term by 18 months. Under Tyagi’s leadership, SEBI has passed orders in high-profile cases, such as the insider trading case at Reliance Industries, unfair access case at the NSE and a ban on PriceWaterhouse for its role in the infamous Satyam scandal. Further, SEBI has enacted several reforms in areas such as mutual funds, foreign portfolio investments and corporate governance.
Tyagi’s predecessor UK Sinha too was granted multiple extensions. He had served as SEBI chief for six years, from 2011-2017. An analyst with a leading brokerage firm said, “Tyagi, as SEBI chairman, had managed to strike the right balance between the government and the markets. He preferred the middle path, which could have come in handy for an extension." He further added, Tyagi's successor would have needed time to adjust, which was not desirable, given the volatile market conditions.