Former NSDL director Sudha Balakrishnan appointed RBI's first CFO

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed Sudha Balakrishnan, a former executive director of the National Securities Depositories Ltd (NSDL), as its first ever chief financial officer (CFO). Her appointment is effective 15 May, reports quoting sources familiar with the development said.

Sudha Balakrishnan, a chartered accountant, was till recently vice president with the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL).
She will be the 12th executive director of the RBI, and will serve a three-year term.
Balakrishnan will be in charge of the central bank’s balance sheet to ensure accounting policies and procedures comply with regulations.
The new CFO will also be responsible for communicating an accurate and timely reporting of the central bank’s financial performance and oversee its budgetary processes, as per a recruitment notice issued in October 2017.
Besides internal accounts and budget, the CFO is in charge of corporate strategy functions like deciding the provident fund rate, which the central bank manages for its employees.
More importantly, Balakrishnan will be in charge of the government and bank account department, which processes government transactions like payments and revenue collections.
She will also be in charge of the dividend RBI pays to the government, which is crucial in the final budgetary calculations. As the nodal officer managing the RBI balance sheet, Balakrishnan will also oversee the central bank’s investments in India and abroad.
The idea to have a dedicated officer handling the internal financial functions of the RBI was first floated during Raghuram Rajan’s tenure as RBI governor. Rajan had proposed creating a post of chief operating officer (COO) at the rank of a deputy governor but that proposal had not been accepted by the government.
The appointment of the CFO is the biggest organisational change since Urjit Patel took over as RBI governor in September 2016, three people familiar with the information said.
After Patel took over as RBI governor, it was decided in consultation with the government, that the RBI would have a CFO position at the rank of an executive director.
“The job profile that Balakrishnan has got is more than what was advertised,” said a former senior executive from the RBI. “As CFO she will be privy to a lot of sensitive information of the RBI, including the foreign investments.
Balakrishnan is eligible for a monthly salary of Rs2 lakh with housing or Rs4 lakh per month without housing and an annual increase of 3 per cent to 5 per cent of gross cost to company.
The appointment will initially be made for a period of three years, which could be extended further subject to annual review, RBI said in the recruitment notice.