Narayana Murthy to join NPCI board as non-exec Chairman

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 15:54

Mumbai: Infosys chief mentor, N R Narayana Murthy is likely to become the non-executive Chairman of the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) being set up to handle the retail payment operations of the Reserve Bank of India.

Indian Banks Association (IBA), which is functioning as a
facilitator to set up the new entity, is understood to have
approached the Infosys founder to take over the new
responsibility, a source close to the development said.

"IBA has approached Narayana Murthy to join the (NPCI)
board. He has agreed to join the board," the source said.

Though, Narayana Murthy will not be directly involved in
the operations of the company, he will guide the board on
crucial operations, the source said.

Another former Infosys top executive, Nandan Nilekani
had recently joined the government to head the Unique Identity
Card project of the UPA government.

NPCI, which was first mentioned in the 2005-08 vision
document of the central bank, is being set up to segregate all
retail payment activities.

This, however, excludes, real time gross settlement
(electronic) transactions, which will continue to be handled
directly by the apex bank.

The Reserve Bank, which is currently burdened with the
responsibility of all type of payments, plans to hand over
most of the retail operations to the NPCI in the next one

NPCI will be majority owned by public sector banks which,
together will have 51 percent stake in the company, while the
rest of the holding will be with private and foreign sector

State-owned lenders, who will own majority stake in NPCI
are State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Union Bank,
Canara Bank and Bank of Baroda. ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Citi
and HSBC will be the other stake holders.

Former RBI CGM in charge of payment and settlement A P
Hota is the interim NPCI CEO.

Hota will lead the operations of the new entity in the
initial phase of operations, including the recruitment of a
permanent CEO.

KPMG has been appointed as a consultant to search for
suitable candidates to run NPCI.

Parliament cleared the Payment and Settlements Act,
2007, giving more power to the central bank in matters related
to payment and settlement more effectively by introducing
uniformity and standardisation in retail transactions.

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First Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - 15:54

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