NEW DELHI, June 29 � Appointment of a first lady officer, Rupshikha Saikia Borah to head a Navratna company, the Oil India Limited (OIL) has hit a wall, with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry firming up plans to appoint a joint secretary-rank bureaucrat to officiate as chairman cum managing director.
According to highly placed sources, with the Prime Minister�s Office (PMO) yet to clear Borah�s appointment, an alternative arrangement is being put in place and Joint Secretary (Exploration) in the Ministry, UP Singh is likely to be given charge till a full-time CMD is appointed. OIL�s present CMD SK Srivastava retires on June 30.
According to sources, the entire process is now likely to be shelved and started afresh to select a new CMD by the Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB).
Sources further confirmed that Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had recommended Borah�s name to the PMO upon receipt of the vigilance report based on the recommendation of the PESB. However, even as the ministry was waiting for the final go-ahead, the PMO raised fresh queries, that stalled the entire appointment process.
The PMO wanted to know from the Petroleum Ministry why Borah, the only functional lady director on the OIL Board, who was overlooked in November by the PESB, was selected in February. Borah was selected over nine other top executives of the public sector undertakings.
In November last, the government had invited fresh applications for the top job at OIL after its PESB did not find any of the six applicants eligible. After the interview, the PESB in a notice said, �The Board decided to see more candidates.�
Besides Borah, the PESB had interviewed director (HR) Neyveli Lignite Corp Ltd SK Acharya, director (personnel) Air India Ltd NK Jain, director marketing, State Trading Corp (STC) Rajiv Chopra, chairman and managing director Engineering Projects India Ltd SPS Bakshi and CMD National Seeds Corp Ltd VK Gaur.
However, the PESB again held the selection process in February and cleared Borah for the post of CMD, which has also run into rough weather. Borah was scheduled to take charge on July 1.
With over 27 years of experience in diverse fields of financial management, audit and strategic planning, Borah would have been the first ever lady CMD of any exploration and production company in the country.