New Delhi, November 17
Oil refining and marketing company BPCL’s former chairman Arun Kumar Singh is likely to be the new chairman of India’s top oil and gas producer ONGC — the first instance of a top PSU board-level position going to a person aged over 60.
A search-cum-selection committee, constituted by the oil ministry, zeroed in on Singh after interviewing six candidates on August 27, two sources aware of the matter said.
Singh retired after attaining the superannuation age last month and was already selected to head the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) before the August 27 interviews.
If his selection is approved, Singh will get three years as head of the cash-rich PSU.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is without a regular chairman and managing director since April 2021 and the seniormost director on the board has been entrusted with the additional charge. Since then, the firm has seen a record three interim heads.
Sources said Singh became eligible for consideration for the job after the oil ministry relaxed age-related criteria.
Eligibility criteria for a board-level position at PSU provide for an internal candidate (applicant from within the PSU) should not be more than 58 years of age on the date of the vacancy. This eligibility for external candidates is the maximum age of 57 years on the date of the vacancy.
The ministry changed it to state that any candidate to be eligible for consideration should not be more than 60 years of age on the date of occurrence of the vacancy, according to the ministry’s office memorandum sent to the Department of Personnel and Training on June 17. The vacancy arose on March 31, 2021.