ONGC director onshore comedy rolls on and on

Vol 17, PW 9 (28 Nov 13) People & Policy

Be prepared for a repeat show in the selection comedy to select a new ONGC director onshore - a post vacant for over a year since AK Hazarika retired on September 30, 2012.

Group general manager K. Satyanarayana, ranked first after PESB interviews on March 9, 2012, was refused anti-corruption clearance by the CVC on September 24 this year and according to a PESB source the second ranked candidate cannot be put forward.

"Our recommendation for the second ranked candidate is valid only for a year," he explains. "They could not appoint anybody within a year (by March 9, 2013) so we'll tell them to begin a fresh round.

" Yet the oil ministry still hopes it can get the second ranked candidate appointed, saving time. “We wrote to the PESB a month ago to open the sealed envelope with the name of the second candidate," says a ministry source.

"But they haven't sent the name back to us.” Senior ONGC officials believe the second ranked candidate is Ashok Verma, ONGC's eastern offshore asset manager and former CEO of OVL subsidiary Imperial Energy.

Many believe chairman Sudhir Vasudeva wants a fresh selection process as he and Verma have clashed in the past. If the post is advertised again Verma won’t be eligible as he doesn’t have the required minimum two years till retirement.

Satyanarayana was denied CVC clearance after alleged involvement in a jobs-for-cash racket at ONGC.