OilMin yet to decide on new IOC, ONGC heads

A change of guard at the Oil Ministry has sent succession planning at the nation's largest oil firms Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) in a tizzy with no successor appointed yet to replace company heads who retire Monday.

New Delhi: A change of guard at the Oil Ministry has sent succession planning at the nation's largest oil firms Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) in a tizzy with no successor appointed yet to replace company heads who retire Monday.

ONGC chairman and managing director RS Sharma and acting chairman of IOC BM Bansal will superannuate on January 31 and new Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy is yet to approve names of persons who will officiate in the interim period to appointment of fulltime replacement, industry sources said.

IOC has been without a permanent chairman since March 1, 2010 after government decided not to continue with Sarthak Behuria till his superannuation in 2012.

While Bansal, the senior most director on IOC board, was appointed acting chairman from March 1, government headhunters Public Enterprise Selection Board on September 29 interviewed potential candidates and selected R S Butola for the post.

Just a day before that PESB had selected RK Singh to head Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), where the vacancy of chairman and manging Director arose when Ashok Sinha quit in August, 2010.

Sources said formalities of Singh's appointment including clearances by anti-corruption bodies and ratification of his candidature by the Cabinet Committee on Appointments were completed in two months and Singh took over on December 8.

But in case of IOC, the file movement started only in December-end, they said adding the file seeking appointment of Butola had reached Cabinet Secretariat on January 19 when Reddy replaced Murli Deora at the Oil Ministry.

The file was sent back to Reddy for concurrence and is still lying on the new minister's desk, they said.

In case of ONGC, PESB had on October 19 selected Sudhir Vasudeva, Director (Offshore), ONGC, to replace Sharma. CVC while processing his file for clearance, sought certainclarification from the oil ministry and the same is lying with Reddy's office, sources said.

Sources said acting chairmen will have to be appointed to take charge when Bansal and Sharma retire Monday but even those appointment has not been cleared by Reddy so far.

SV Narasimhan, Director (Finance) is the senior most director in IOC while AK Hazarika, director (Onshore) is the senior most in ONGC.

The problem is more severe at ONGC which is without a Director (Human Resources) since mid-July when Ashok Balyan moved jobs to Petronet LNG Ltd. PESB will interview potential candidates for the position on Febraury 22, sources said adding director (exploration) DK Pande too is retiring Mondayand appointment of his replacement too is stuck with Reddy.

PTI

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