Tripathi uncertainty sows confusion at GAIL

Vol 19, PW 1 (10 Sep 15) People & Policy

BC Tripathi continues to attend office despite persisting uncertainty over his re-confirmation as GAIL chairman for another four years.

Many GAIL officers are confused because by August 31 the government should have taken a decision on whether Tripathi could stay on. But there is an eerie silence.

“We have heard nothing,” says a senior GAIL official. “Neither a rejection letter has come nor an approval.

” Tripathi was granted a second five-year term in July 2014 but under government rules, any appointment to a state-owned company Board must be re-confirmed after one year, which in this case was July 31. However government rules allow an additional month for a decision, which meant it should have taken a final decision by August 31.

Many also wonder why Tripathi is continuing without a confirmation letter from the oil ministry. “I don’t understand how the government can justify allowing Tripathi to continue,” says a source.

“He doesn’t have anti-corruption clearance.” Many are also worried about Tripathi’s chances given the government’s decision in August to deny Arup Roy Choudhury of NTPC an extension beyond his five-year term which ended on August 31 until his retirement in December 2016.

In June the government also refused an extension to SAIL chairman CS Verma until his retirement in September 2019.