After 5 months, ONGC finally gets a director on HPCL board
New Delhi: After over five months, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has finally got a director appointed on the board of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd — a firm it had acquired for Rs 36,915 crore. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on June 22, conveyed its consent for the appointment of Pankaj Kumar, Director (Offshore), ONGC as a director on the board of HPCL, according to regulatory filings by HPCL. For over five months, ONGC had no representative on the board of HPCL — a company in which it owns a 51.11 per cent stake since January 2018.HPCL for over one-and-a-half years — between January 2018 and August 2019 — did not recognise ONGC as its promoter despite the government selling its entire 51.11 per cent stake in the company to the oil explorer. It relented only after a rap from market regulator SEBI. ONGC got the right to appoint one director who HPCL called ‘Government Nominee Director (Representative of ONGC)’.”Pankaj Kumar has been appointed as Government Director on the Board of the company effective June 22, 2022,” HPCL said in the filing.Officials said ONGC has been nominating one of its directors as the nominee director. Prior to the latest appointment, its last nominee director was Alka Mittal, Director (HR) who was appointed to the HPCL board in April 2021.In January this year, Mittal was given additional charge of chairman and managing director of ONGC after the retirement of the incumbent. And following the past practice of the company that the chairman could only sit on the board of a subsidiary in the capacity as chairman and not as a director, Mittal resigned from the board of HPCL and Kumar was nominated.HPCL promptly took note of it. In a filing on January 6, 2022, HPCL said: “Alka Mittal has tendered resignation from the position of the Government Nominee Director (Representative of ONGC) of the company effective January 05, 2022.”Officials said as per rules, Mittal also sent her resignation from the HPCL board to the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas — the parent ministry of ONGC and HPCL.