More than two dozen candidates including ONGC director Shashi Shanker and Oil India director Biswajit Roy have applied for the top job at India’s most profitable company, ONGC. At the close of application for the job last week, nearly 30 candidates applied for replacing incumbent Chairman and Managing Director Dinesh K Sarraf when he retires on September 30 this year.
The candidates are being screened and the shortlisted will be called for the interview to be held next month, sources privy to the development said. Top of the list of candidates is ONGC Director for Technical and Field Services Shashi Shanker. None of the other five functional directors of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) were eligible to apply as they did not have the requisite service of two years left.
ONGC Videsh Ltd Director (Finance) Vivekanand has also applied and so have three of ONGC’s Executive Directors — Sanjay Kumar Moitra (Asset Manager for Bassein and Satellite Fields), Rajesh Kakkar (Asset Manager of Mumbai High fields) and A R Morbole (Asset Manager of Neelam-Heera fields). Sources said OIL Director for Human Resources and Business Development Roy too has applied for the ONGC job.
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Besides, Balmer Lawrie Chairman and Managing Director Prabal Basu has also applied. Once PESB selects a person after interviews, the name will be forwarded to the government for approval. The administrative ministry will first seek clearance from anti- corruption agencies and then forward the name for approval to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments (ACC).
Incumbent Sarraf has been the head of ONGC, India’s largest oil and gas producer, since March 2014. He will retire on attaining the superannuation age at the end of September. The new head will have his job cut — rapidly increasing oil and gas production to help achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of cutting country’s oil import dependence by 10 per cent by 2022.
Since the time Modi set the target in March 2015, oil dependence has only gone up – from 77 per cent to 81 per cent, mainly because of stagnant domestic oil output pitched against a rising local demand. ONGC being the flag-bearer will have to raise domestic output to meet the target.