The Centre has declined to share details on appointment of RBI governor Urjit Patel and other candidates shortlisted for the top post in the central bank saying these are “cabinet papers” and cannot be made public.
Replying to an RTI query, the cabinet secretariat denied to share copy of minutes of the meetings of the search committee for selecting the RBI governor, details of the candidates considered by it and its recommendations.
“Information sought is exempted from disclosure under Section 8 (1) (i) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act,” the cabinet secretariat said in reply to the RTI application.
The section bars disclosure of cabinet papers, including records of deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers.
“Provided that the decisions of council of ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over,” the section reads.
Patel was on August 20 named as RBI’s governor to succeed Raghuram Rajan, who demitted office on September 4.
The cabinet secretariat said a financial sector regulatory appointment search committee (FSRASC) has been constituted with the approval of the appointments committee of cabinet, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for recommending the names for appointment of chairperson and members of financial sector regulatory bodies including those of governor and deputy governor of RBI.
The committee, which is headed by the cabinet secretary, has as members additional principal secretary to the PM, secretary department of economic affairs or secretary department of financial services (depending on administrative role), chairperson of the concerned regulatory authority and three outside experts of repute.