The central government has appointed noted economist Swaminathan Gurumurthy and Satish Kashinath Marathe as the new part-time, non-official directors on the central board of Reserve Bank of India. According to reports, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has issued the notification after the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by PM Modi approved their names. The names were reportedly recommended by the Department of Financial Services of the Ministry of Finance.
The RBI central board has a group of official and non-official directors. The official directors include the governor and four deputy governors. Ten unofficial directors are nominated by the government as per the RBI Act. Well-known economists and persons with strong careers in finance and banking are usually nominated.
Story of my appointment as director RBI. This is the first directorship ever. Never accepted any private or PSU directorship. Not even audit of PSUs or Pvt cos. Wanted to be free to speak. But when pressure built up I am needed to do something in public interest I had to accept.
— S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) August 8, 2018
Swaminathan Gurumurthy was born in a poor family in Tamil Nadu. He started his own charted accountancy practice in 1975 and built a successful business which saw many prominent business houses as his clients. Gurumurthy was ranked at number 30 in the 2017 list of India Today’s 50 most powerful people in the country. Gurumurthy was closely associated with Indian Express’ founder Ramnath Goenka. Gurumurthy rose to national prominence when he and Goenka took on the Reliance Industries in the 1980s. Gurumurthy and Goenka ran a series of exposes on the crony capitalism and policy influencing practised in the polyester industries.
Since then Gurumurthy has been a crucial part of many corporate world powerplays. He had never shied away from criticising government policies and had carried on relentlessly on his idea of economic development through promotion of Swadeshi culture and practices. He had also exposed bribery cases in the Bofors arms deal, called out corrupt officials in the Indian government many times and still continues his investigative journalism. He was arrested and put in jail by the then Rajiv Gandhi government too.
Gurumurthy had reportedly played a crucial role in resolving many corporate feuds. He had reportedly resolved issues between Rahul Bajaj and Shishir Bajaj of the Bajaj industries and played a vital role in L&T- Grasim Cement deals with two Indian conglomerates Larsen and Toubro Ltd and Aditya Birla Ltd. Gurumurthy’s advise on corporate and financial affairs is sought by business tycoons like AM Naik, Kumar Mangalam Birla and many more.
He regularly writes on economic policies. He is the current editor of the Tamil political weekly Thuglok. He is also the co-convenor of Swadesh Jagaran Manch, the nationalist political and cultural organisation affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He is known for his strong views on economic and corporate affairs. Throughout his long career in the print media, his articles have always created a stir for their deep economic insight and bold opinions.
Swaminathan Gurumurthy has been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh since his college days and is a strong believer in the Sangh’s ideologies. He is also the chairman of the think tank Vivekananda International Foundation, a visiting faculty in IIT Bombay and a distinguished professor in Sastra University.
Gurumurthy was also the key person behind exposing the dubious financial dealings of the Chidambaram family. He had exposed Karthi Chidambaram‘s links with the Advantage Strategic Consultancy Pvt Ltd and brought the numerous proxies and benamis used by the Chidambaram family out in the open. Karthi was subsequently arrested by the CBI in February this year.
He had praised the Modi government’s move of demonetisation and had debunked ideas propagated by former PM Manmohan Singh that claimed demonetisation will harm the Indian economy.
A thorough nationalist and a person with deep understanding of Indian economy, Gurumurthy is the perfect choice for the role of an RBI Director.