Surprise appointment of MK Das as GSPC Jt. MD

Vol 17, PW 24 (17 Jul 14) People & Policy

They say God works in mysterious ways but sometimes the Indian government's ways are even more perplexing.

With hardly any oil and gas experience to his name, Surat municipal commissioner Manoj Kumar Das took charge as joint managing director of GSPC on July 8. Some speculate Das, one of 45 middle ranking IAS officers transferred in Gujarat, is being groomed to replace managing director Tapan Ray who wants to move to Delhi.

Either that or Ray will be replaced by another senior officer, with Das kept on to strengthen management. Das occupies the fifth floor office of GSPC's former field services president Rakesh Johri who left in March.

Born on December 20, 1966, he joined the IAS in 1990. His only notable oil and gas experience was eight months as joint secretary in the Gujarat energy department in 2002.

Most believe his appointment as GSPC joint MD is a stop-gap arrangement until the government promotes him from secretary to principal secretary so he can take over as MD at GSPC. Das was municipal commissioner of Vadodara when the city's Municipal Corporation signed a MoU with GAIL to set up gas retailer Vadodara Gas Company.

He moved to Surat as commissioner in 2011. Ray, meanwhile, is keeping up the pressure with regular letters to the Gujarat government requesting a transfer to Delhi.

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