Suspense over! Tripathi wins 6-mth extension

Vol 22, PW 15 (16 May 19) People & Policy

BC Tripathi has been rewarded with a six-month extension until he retires in January 2020 in return for pushing through the acquisition of IL&FS's wind power business.

This report learns PK Mishra, additional principal secretary to Narendra Modi, signed the GAIL chairman's papers on May 10 and oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan took time out from election campaigning to ensure he was in Delhi the day the file was signed. Readers will recall Pradhan promised Tripathi a two-year extension on condition he completes the wind power acquisition from IL&FS - a leading Indian infrastructure finance company close to Modi which the government wants to revive.

Still unclear is whether Pradhan will keep his full promise and grant Tripathi an 18-month extension beyond the initial six months. What is clear is that on May 10 the PESB also advertised the post of GAIL chairman with a vacancy date of February 1, 2020.

"Interviews are likely to be held in October or November this year," we hear. Among those likely to apply are Manoj Jain, director business development at GAIL and ES Ranganathan, Indraprastha Gas managing director.

"Ranganathan also applied for the post of director technical at Petronet-LNG," says a source. "But he didn't attend the interviews as Tripathi wanted him to apply for the GAIL position."

Some speculate Tripathi might not secure a further 18-month extension at GAIL and instead be appointed by the government to head another organisation.