For PESB, it’s a tough job filling top slots in Shipping Corp, BPCL

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on August 27, 2020 Published on August 27, 2020

The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) on Thursday picked BK Tyagi for the post of Director (Liner and Passenger Services) at Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.

Tyagi, currently a general manager, was selected from a panel of six short-listed internal candidates interviewed by the government’s head-hunter, according to the PESB.

The post of Director (Liner and Passenger Services) will fall vacant in November when the incumbent superannuates.

However, the PESB could not find any suitable candidate to fill the key post of Director (Finance) at India’s biggest shipping company, which has been lying vacant since the earlier Finance Director Mrs HK Joshi took over as the chairperson and managing director of the ‘navratna’ company on December 19 last year.

The Shipping Ministry, which controls the company, had asked Joshi to hold additional charge of finance director till a regular appointment is made or until further orders, whichever is earliest.

The PESB interviewed two candidates for the post of finance director on August 24 but didn’t recommend any candidate for the post. Both the candidates were non-SCI personnel.

It advised the administrative ministry to “choose an appropriate course of further action for selection including search-cum-selection-committee or as deemed appropriate with the approval of the competent authority”.

‘Faulty succession plan’

The PESB will also hold interviews for the post of Director (Personnel and Administration) on September 2. This post will also fall vacant sometime in December/January.

“The absence of qualified internal candidates for the post of finance director demonstrates faulty succession planning by the company,” said a government official briefed on the plan.

The PESB had invited applications for the post on April 1, which disqualified at least two general managers of the company who would have otherwise made it to the shortlist.

These two officers were promoted as general managers in April 2019. A general manager-level officer should have completed at least one year in that role before she/he can apply for the post of an official/functional director, according to rules.

Eligible candidates from other PSUs would have shied away from applying in view of the planned privatisation of shipping company, the government official said.

PESB’s move to interview candidates to fill key director-level posts in SCI is also in sharp contrast with a lack of urgency in picking a new chairman and managing director as well as director (refineries) for ‘Maharatna’ Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) who will superannuate on August 31.

The government has sought expressions of interest for selling its entire stake in the oil marketing and refining company. The EoI for SCI is yet to be issued.

“There is total confusion within the government on filling key posts in privatisation-bound PSUs. Without full-time official/functional directors in key roles, these companies would suffer if the privatisation process drags,” the government official said.

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Published on August 27, 2020
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