Jain stays in ministry till December

Vol 11, PW 23 (03 Apr 08) News in Brief

NELP bidders can rest assured they won’t have to deal with a novice bureaucrat who doesn’t know the difference between an exploration and development well after they bid on April 25.

PETROWATCH learns the oil ministry wants present joint secretary exploration Anil Jain to stay on until December to see the process through. Jain’s five-year stint in a central government ministry ends on June 29 when he is scheduled to return to his home state Madhya Pradesh for the mandatory three-year cooling off period.

Says a source: “The ministry wants Jain to stay till the ongoing NELP-VII round reaches a conclusion.â€‌ Expect that to happen two to three months after the April 25 deadline for 57 blocks when the DGH completes evaluation of bids.

Jain’s extension will need prime ministerial approval, required for all extensions beyond three months. When granted it will not be the first time.

Jain’s predecessor Sunjoy Joshi secured an extension during the last round.