NMDC’s technical director N K Nanda — selected earlier by the Public Enterprises Selection Board to head the state-run mining firm but was subsequently rejected by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) — has made a fresh plea to the prime minister-led selection panel for reconsidering his appointment as otherwise, he will have “no other opening for any growth” in the present company or outside.
In a letter, also addressed to steel minister Birender Singh, Nanda wrote, “After contributing so much to the mining and mineral industry and working for nine years in the company Board with excellent performance, now after nine months from the date of selection as CMD, the news that my appointment for the post of CMD, NMDC Ltd, has been scrapped by ACC is a tremendous shock to me.”
“Subsequent to this decision, I have no other opening for growth in my career, as, neither I will be able to apply for a higher post outside nor any scope in the present organisation,” he added. Nanda served as the acting CMD of the company from January, 2012 to June, 2012 after the superannuation of the then CMD Rana Som on December 31, 2011.
The PESB recommended Nanda for the top post in the company in September 2016. The largest iron ore miner, NMDC, is without a full-time chairman and managing director for over 18 months now since the superannuation of the incumbent Nrendra Kothari on December 31, 2015.
The charge was then given to steel ministry’s additional secretary and financial adviser Bharathi S Sihag on temporary basis from January, 2016 and after her retirement, the baton was handed over to another bureaucrat, R Sridharan, now handling the charge in addition to his regular appointment as member finance in the Space Commission.
Rejecting the PESB recommendation, without citing any reasons; the government is now planning to appoint a secretary or an additional secretary-level officer for the top post in NMDC now for a period of three years. The decision many believe may not be beneficial for the company in the long-run since mining is a technical issue.