Monday, August 17, 2015

Will the CVC be given a jurisdiction over regulatory bodies like TRAI, IRDA and SEBI? Any decision on Wednesday?

COME Wednesday, an inter-ministerial meeting to be chaired by a joint secretary-ranked officer of the department of personnel and training (DoPT) will deliberate on whether Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) should be given a jurisdiction over various regulatory authorities such as telecom regulator TRAI and insurance regulator IRDA etc., an issue that has not been resolved for over a decade. The meeting to be held on August 19, 2015 in North Block will also try to find an answer whether the CVC…
should set up vigilance administration in those regulatory bodies. The question is whether the meeting will come to a conclusion of the matter and if it finds one, when will the decision be made public?
Despite an office memorandum dated January 23, 2015 was issued, which was followed by a reminder dated July 22, 2015 asking the ministries concerned to furnish comments on this contentious issue, no ministry has responded as yet, forcing the DoPT to convene a meeting to take a call on the subject.
The meeting will be attended by either a director or a joint secretary-ranked representative from each of the four departments: telecom, shipping, ministry of petroleum and natural gas and department of economic affairs (DEA).
The CVC last year asked the DoPT to issue a clear guideline on the vigilance administration of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) etc. The CVC had time and again argued that the employees working with the regulatory bodies are public servants, and hence, they should automatically come under the purview of the Commission. But a lack of clear guidelines from the DoPT has kept the issue unresolved.
Significantly, the CVC has vigilance powers over officials of the central government departments, right from the cabinet secretary down to the peons, executives in public sector undertakings, banks and insurance companies, and the employees working in the Reserve Bank of India, NABARD and SIDBI etc.

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