Mystery on Surajit Mitra's removal from oil ministry

Vol 7, PW 10 (30 Jul 03) News in Brief

Bureaucrats in the oil ministry are shaken at the manner in which joint secretary and financial adviser Surajit Mitra was so abruptly removed from his post.

Mitra received his transfer order on 16th July and is now in the northeastern states department. He took charge in the oil ministry in April 2002 to replace Ravi Saxena who died of a heart attack two months earlier.

His removal has shocked other bureaucrats. Gossip suggests GAIL chairman Proshanto Banerjee was instrumental in his removal in retaliation for an alleged smear campaign.

Another story suggests Mitra's transfer is linked to the leak of IOC plans to issue bonus shares. Also circulating is the story of an alleged connection between Mitra and the Oil Industry Development Board's appointment of bankers J.

M Morgan Stanley to suggest investment avenues for the huge sums of money lying idle with the OIDB. Mitra was unavailable for comment.