Whispers of Atanu Chakraborty to PESB

Vol 23, PW 22 (10 Sep 20) News in Brief

Atanu Chakraborty is a favourite of the Narendra Modi government which explains why there is often speculation about the retired bureaucrat securing some senior position or the other.

This time the rumour is he will be the next chairman of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), charged with selecting prospective PSU directors and chairmen. Since September 1, the chairman position is vacant after Rajiv Kumar was appointed election commissioner.

Usually headed by a retired IAS officer, the PESB has three members. But presently, it has just two: MK Gupta and Rear Admiral (retired) Shekhar Mittal.

Sources say Chakraborty has the right connections to be PESB chairman. He joined the IAS in 1985 from Gujarat and retired on April 30 (2020) as economic affairs secretary in the finance ministry where he was previously the disinvestment (privatisation) secretary.

Before this, Chakraborty led the DGH, where he presided over the mid-2017 sale to ONGC of GSPC's eastern offshore Deendayal West gasfield. Chakraborty was GSPC managing director before moving to the DGH.

Born in April 1960, Chakraborty is an electronics engineer from the Regional Engineering College at Kurukshetra in Haryana. Earlier rumours he would replace KD Tripathi as oil secretary in 2018 proved wrong.