Mansingh wants Watal to stay

Vol 13, PW 17 (11 Feb 10) News in Brief

Gas regulator Labanyendu Mansingh is lobbying the Department of Personnel and Training to retain Board secretary RP Watal beyond March 2 this year, when he should in theory step down.

Mansingh’s support is a remarkable turnaround for Watal: relations between the two were earlier fraught with tension. When contacted, Mansingh confirms he has asked for Watal’s extension.

“We wrote a letter to the DOPT some time back,â€‌ he says. Watal is originally from Andhra Pradesh and has been on a five-year central government secondment since March 3, 2005.

All IAS officers must return to their parent state after completing a central government attachment. Mansingh hopes to circumvent this guideline but cannot confirm Watal’s extension.

“Ask the DOPT!â€‌ he adds. A DOPT source says some more IAS officers from Watal’s 1978 batch are being â€کempanelled’ (promoted) to additional secretary rank.

“If Watal’s name appears on that list,â€‌ we hear, “he might well remain in Delhi.â€‌