By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 17 Nov: Retired BPCL Chairman Arun Kumar Singh is likely to be the next CMD of ONGC, according to sources. According to them, the search-cum-selection committee constituted by the Oil Ministry has zeroed in on Singh after interviewing six candidates on 27 August.
Oil refining and marketing company BPCL’s former Chairman Arun Kumar Singh is likely to be the new Chairman of ONGC. In case Singh is appointed next CMD of ONGC as the sources claim, it will be the first instance of a top PSU board-level position going to a person aged over 60.
It may be recalled that, earlier, the government had raised the age limit for any candidate external or internal to 60 years to be eligible for appointment in any PSU. This was reported by the Garhwal Post some months ago. As per the earlier rule, the maximum age limit for consideration as PSU head was 57 years for an external candidate and 58 years for a candidate within the PSU concerned. With the age limit having been raised earlier, Singh became eligible as a candidate and he was among the six candidates who were considered by the Search and Selection Committee and interviewed on 27 August this year. Singh had retired after attaining the superannuation age last month and had been already selected to head the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) before the 27 August interviews.
In case Singh is appointed as ONGC CMD, it will be after a while that ONGC will have a regular CMD. ONGC has seen three interim CMDs over the past two years.
The vacancy for the post of CMD had arisen in March 2021 and Singh was even then eligible to head ONGC but he had then failed to make it to the shortlisted candidates. In fact, no regular appointment was since made on the post of ONGC Chairman. In the interview, in all nine candidates were called including the then interim CMD of ONGC Alka Mittal and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) SM Vaidya, both of whom did not appear for the interview. Sources add that the process of vigilance clearance had been initiated in case of Arun Kumar Singh. Following this, the appointment might be finally vetted by PM Modi before the actual appointment.