Patne in ministry

Vol 15, PW 14 (26 Jan 12) News in Brief

It’s been almost a week since Atul Nilkanta Patne, 39, joined the oil ministry as deputy secretary on January 20, but he still doesn’t know what portfolio he will be handling.

PETROWATCH learns Patne is likely to become either ministry deputy secretary gas pricing or deputy secretary finance. Director Neeraj Mittal has held additional charge of the gas pricing role since Manu Srivastava completed his five-year Delhi stint on June 10 last year.

As for the finance slot, it has been lying vacant since former deputy secretary VK Sethi retired on September 30. “Patne’s file isn’t even moving,” says a ministry source.

“Nothing will happen until Friday (January 27) when joint secretary (refineries) LN Gupta, who has additional charge of administration, returns from an official visit to Punjab.” Patne, who joined the Indian Administrative Service from Maharashtra in 1999, spent the last one year in Nagpur as managing director of the Maharashtra State Mining Corporation.

He is likely to remain at the ministry for five years.

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