The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has decided not to accept the Public Enterprises Selection Board’s (PESB’s) recommendation for the post of the chairman of state-run miner NMDC. Sources said the government would soon appoint a secretary or an additional secretary-level officer for the top post in NMDC now for a period of three-five years.
The PESB had recommended the name of NMDC’s technical director NK Nanda for chairman in September 2016.
The largest iron ore miner, NMDC, has been without a full-time chairman and managing director for around 18 months now since the superannuation of the incumbent Nrendra Kothari on December 31, 2015. Following this, the charge was given to steel ministry’s additional secretary and financial adviser Bharathi S Sihag on temporary basis 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.
As reported earlier by FE, peeved at inordinate delay in the selection of a permanent chairman and managing director for NMDC, steel minister Birender Singh had requested the ACC to speed up the process or depute a senior IAS officer to run the firm on a full-time basis.
While bureaucrats have shown exemplary leadership skills in various areas, running a commercial company as technical as mining requires specific skill set which cannot be desired from an IAS officer. The decision to appoint a bureaucrat as CMD is not going to be beneficial for the company, said an industry veteran who does not want “confrontation” with the government.
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A senior government official, however, said that managing a company does not need more than his capacity of man management and foresight. A competent officer can manage things, he said, however, admitting that “ego management” with the bosses at Udyog Bhavan, which also houses steel ministry, could become a difficulty.