Petronet-LNG holds director finance interviews

Vol 20, PW 16 (04 May 17) People & Policy

Petronet LNG is preparing to hold interviews on May 7 to select a replacement for director finance RK Garg against the backdrop of controversial rumours that Pankaj Wadhwa is guaranteed to win.

Eighty-two candidates sent in CVs by the March 21 deadline of which 20 have been shortlisted, among them senior vice-president finance Wadhwa who is the only one from Petronet-LNG in the race, Murali Ramaswami of Vijaya Bank, S. Charles who is director finance Dredging Corporation of India, VK Mishra, general manager at GAIL, Subhash Kumar, group general manager at ONGC, and Sunil Patel from Reliance.

But Wadhwa's inclusion has raised eyebrows. "According to Petronet-LNG's vacancy notice the candidate must have 25 years experience on the date of the vacancy (July 20, 2017)," says a source.

"But Wadhwa only has 22 years experience." A letter signed by Naresh Khanna, a director at NGO People Activism Forum, and sent to the PMO and oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan alleges that Petronet-LNG similarly turned a blind eye to Wadhwa's selection as vice-president finance in April 2012. The letter claims Wadhwa only had 16 years experience at the time even though eligible candidates were meant to have a minimum 22 years.

It argues Wadhwa earned a degree in cost accountancy only in 1995 so his work experience began after that, when he joined GAIL in 1996. "Petronet-LNG appointed him in violation of the rules and without approval," reads the letter.