New Delhi: A high level panel headed by Finance Secretary R S Gujral is understood to have zeroed in on acting Chairman D K Mehrotra to head the country's largest insurer LIC.

The panel interviewed 5 candidates here on Saturday including Mehrotra for the post of regular Chairman.

Besides Mehrotra, Sushobhan Sarkar, Executive Director, international operations, D Vijayalakshmi, Executive Director, investment, Thangam Matthew, Executive Director, underwriting and reinsurance and D D Singh, Zonal Manager, south, appeared
in the interview, sources said.

Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) Secretary Alka Sirohi, Financial Services Secretary D K Mittal, IRDA Chairman J Hari Narayan, among others, were part of the panel, sources said.
The panel will now recommend the name to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for final approval.

Mehrotra is the only candidate who is at the Managing Director level, while the other candidates are executive directors.

LIC has been without a full-time Chairman since May, when the then-Chairman T S Vijayan's five-year term ended and the government did not to grant him extension despite his having about two year service tenure left.

As an interim arrangement, the Additional Secretary in the Finance Ministry, Rakesh Singh, was appointed as the LIC Chairman. Subsequently, D K Mehrotra, LIC Managing Director,
was asked to officiate as the Chairman of the country's largest insurer.

The selection panel had met in June to take a call on finalising names for the new Chairman, but could not reach a decision, candidates did not have the required clearance of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).