Shashi Shanker could soon be back at ONGC

Vol 18, PW 17 (23 Apr 15) People & Policy

Shashi Shanker, who was inexplicably suspended as ONGC director technical and field services on February 23, is expected to be re-instated after winning the support of oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan and oil secretary Saurabh Chandra.

This month (April) PETROWATCH learns Shanker met Pradhan and Chandra to protest his innocence following allegations of irregularities in a tender to buy 21 BoPs (Blow out Preventors) first issued in 2008. “Shanker was accompanied by a former special secretary who retired from the home affairs ministry," says a ministry source.

"He carried all the documents regarding the tender award where he was implicated. He also carried minutes of the EPC meeting where the award was discussed.

" Pradhan and Chandra listened patiently to Shanker and were "supportive.” A service provider wonders how the ministry could order Shanker’s suspension when all decisions about the tender award were taken by the EPC, headed by the ONGC chairman with other full-time directors on its team.

“How can the director T&FS alone be held responsible for irregularities, if any?" When contacted, ONGC chief vigilance officer Dr. Akhilesh Kumar Ambasht refused to comment.

“Are you a journalist?” he asked. "Why are you asking me this? Vigilance type matters can't be discussed with the media.

" ONGC sources confirm Shanker's full re-instatement is imminent. “It’s only a matter of time,” says a source.

All attempts to contact Shanker by phone and text were unsuccessful. 

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