AK Singh denies GAIL dir. BD claims on Mathur

Vol 20, PW 26 (21 Sep 17) People & Policy

GAIL executive director AK Singh has hit back at allegations he is trying to use political contacts to derail the appointment of Rajeev Mathur as GAIL's next director business development - a position vacant since September 2014.

Mathur, who completes his three-year term as Mahanagar Gas managing director on September 30, will undoubtedly be anxious. This is the second time he has been selected by the PESB as the best qualified for the job but is yet to receive his formal appointment order, first expected end-August; as we write Mathur's file is believed to be still languishing on the desk of oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

And not with the cabinet's appointments committee where it should be. Quiet and modest, well-wishers say Mathur's principal weakness is his apparent unwillingness to play political games and 'manage' the right people - an essential pre-requisite for positions at this level.

Ranked second after PESB interviews on July 4, Singh rubbishes claims he's responsible for the delay in Mathur's formal confirmation. "I've no idea why his (Mathur's) file has not cleared," he says.

Pressed if he would like the job, he exclaims: "I'm hopeful. If they reconsider I'd be the happiest person!" Mathur's previous selection on October 30, 2015 was scrapped following negative comments by Pradhan on his file.

"Last time he (Mathur) was rejected because the ACC (cabinet appointments committee) and Pradhan found him unsuitable. Logically, he shouldn't have been selected this time," says Singh.

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