RK Goel moves one step closer to PNGRB role

Vol 16, PW 9 (15 Nov 12) People & Policy

‘Conflict of interest’ charges barring RK Goel’s appointment as member distribution at the PNGRB have disintegrated.

Oil ministry officials wrote to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) last week saying Goel violated no government rules by joining privately-owned Reliance after retiring as GAIL director finance on February 28, 2011. Goel did not need government permission to take the Reliance job as he began working at Reliance in over a year after retiring, they say.

More, he applied for the PNGRB job in March 2012 when he was unemployed, a month before joining Reliance. If the CVC clears Goel, his file will go to the cabinet’s appointments committee for approval.

“All I can say is the process is not complete,” reports a senior oil ministry source. “It is still going on - you will get to know when it is complete.

” Goel too declined to comment. A search committee selected Goel for the PNGRB job in June this year, a decision ratified on August 31 by then oil minister Jaipal Reddy.

But the selection ran into trouble in September when GAIL chief vigilance officer Rajesh Ranjan replied to a ministry query that Goel was believed to be working with Reliance. Goel subsequently met oil secretary Girish Chaturvedi in October to defend himself.

In a related development, the PNGRB has yet to appoint retired judge Subhash Batra as member legal even though his file has been cleared by the CVC. PNGRB chairman S.

Krishnan adjourned the Board’s last meeting in November without deciding whether to cancel the second retail gas licensing round or confirm the winners; or what should be done about the third and fourth bidding rounds.