Two of India’s biggest state-run companies may find themselves headless after office hours on Monday as succession plans have been delayed by the change of guard at the oil ministry.
R S Sharma superannuates on Monday as chairman of the flagship explorer ONGC, a stock market heavy weight that shuffles among the first three slots in market sweepstakes. B M Bansal also retires on Monday as acting chairman of IndianOil, the biggest state-run refiner and India’s largest fuel and lubes marketer.
Till Sunday, there was no word on their successors —even acting heads. According to norms, the appointments will now be vetted afresh by the new oil minister, S Jaipal Reddy.
For ONGC, it is a double-whammy. The appointment of seven independent directors too has been delayed. If Reddy changes even one name, the entire process may be delayed by up to two months and the company will miss the deadline for starting the process for its Rs 13,000-crore FPO.
At IOC, Bansal, who was director (business development) and senior-most on the board when the ministry denied Sarthak Behuria an extension, has been acting as chairman for the last 11 months. In case of ONGC, its director (offshore) Sudhir Vasudeva was selected as Sharma’s successor. CVC, while processing his file for clearance, sought certain clarifications from the oil ministry and it is lying with Reddy’s office, sources said.
On September 29, ONGC Videsh chief R S Butola was named as the next IOC chairman. But his appointment process has not been completed.