Countdown for IOC chairman interviews

Vol 14, PW 7 (23 Sep 10) People & Policy

Shortlisted candidates for the IndianOil chairman interviews will have a nervous weekend ahead.

PETROWATCH learns oil secretary S. Sundareshan and a four member Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) panel will interview 14 shortlisted candidates next Wednesday (September 29).

PESB officials finalised the shortlist and prepared letters on September 21 inviting candidates for interviews, according to a well-placed source. “Seven candidates will come before lunch and the rest after lunch,” he says.

“Internal (IOC) candidates will be interviewed first.” Earlier rumours about postponing the selection process, he adds, have been put aside.

IOC director business development BM Bansal, it seems, wanted to delay interviews and retain the additional charge of acting chairman until he retires on January 31 next year. “Bansal must step down if a new chairman is appointed before January,” explains a source.

“But stepping down just before retirement would be humiliating.” Leading the race to replace Bansal is ONGC Videsh managing director RS Butola who was “asked” to apply by oil minister Murli Deora.

“Butola had no choice but to accept Deora’s offer,” says an industry source. “He is busy reading up on the refining industry.

” Bharat Petroleum director refineries RK Singh is another strong competitor, but is also appearing for BPCL chairman interviews on September 28. “RK Singh has a clear run to become BPCL chairman,” we hear.

“He might even skip the IOC interviews.” Internal IOC candidates are executive directors AMK Sinha, RK Ghosh, NK Khosla and SC Meshram.

Others in the race are MRPL managing director UK Basu, BPCL director finance B. Mukherjee, Oil India director finance TK Ananth Kumar, RK Tyagi of Pawan Hans Helicopters, HPCL executive director OP Pradhan, SCI director finance BK Mandal; Instrumentation Ltd CMD Ramanand; and additional agriculture secretary AS Lamba.