PTI Oil Min reverts to promoters selecting Petronet CEO New Delhi

PTI Oil Min reverts to promoters selecting Petronet CEO New Delhi

 The Oil Ministry has reverted back to the mechanism of promoters selecting CEO of Petronet LNG after it scrapped an ad-hoc search committee formed under the previous Petroleum Secretary.

A new Search Committee comprising representatives of all Petronet’s four promoter PSUs – GAIL, IOC, ONGC and BPCL – as well as GdF of France has been formed to select the new chief executive officer (CEO) of India’s biggest liquefied natural gas importer, officials said.

Applications have been invited by July 15, the day incumbent AK Balyan completes his 5-year term.

The Search Committee will scrutinise applications and interview candidates and select a CEO, they said.

The then oil secretary Saurabh Chandra had in March constituted a three-member panel headed by ONGC Chairman Dinesh K Sarraf.

Besides Sarraf, the committee included two independent directors of Petronet, the first such instance where independent directors were involved in the selection of CEO of a company.

Sources said the committee’s constitution was questioned by at least one promoter director.

The panel could not come up with a consensus by April-end from among seven applicants, including Pramod K Bajpai, the then Director (Finance) of BHEL and an IIT Kanpur batchmate of Chandra, they said.

With Chandra retiring on April 30, new Oil Secretary Kapil Dev Tripathi has decided to revert to the old system of choosing the head of Petronet.

Officials said the world over, promoters pick up CEOs and it was felt that the old mechanism is better.

The new Search Committee includes one independent director.

As per the eligibility rules for the new CEO, the candidate should not be more than 60 years as on July 16, 2015.

Bajpai retired from BHEL on May 31 and thus, will not be eligible to apply this time.

Besides him, others who had applied included gas utility GAIL Director (Marketing) Prabhat Singh, Oil India former chairman S K Srivastava and Engineers India (EIL) former head A K Purwaha.

Others who applied for the post included GAIL Directors P K Jain and Ashutosh Karnatak, Petronet Director (Finance) R K Garg and its Director (Technical) Rajender Singh.

Purwaha, Jain and Srivastava have superannuated since then and will not be eligible.

Petronet is majority owned by state-owned oil firms, but is registered as a private company and the Oil Secretary is its ex-officio chairman.

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