Government re-advertises top post of oil regulator

The oil ministry issued this week an advertisement inviting applications for the post of chairman of the PNGRB.

The oil ministry issued this week an advertisement inviting applications for the post of chairman of the PNGRB.

The government has for a second time in as many years re-advertised the post of chairman of oil and gas regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), which has been lying vacant since December 2020.

The oil ministry issued this week an advertisement inviting applications for the post of chairman of the PNGRB.

It sought applications by July 21 from those who fulfill the qualifications and are not more than 62 years of age, according to the advertisement.

The post of chairman of PNGRB has been lying vacant since December 4, 2020, when Dinesh K Sarraf completed his three-year term.

A search-cum-selection committee headed by VK Saraswat, Member (S&T), Niti Aayog in June 2021 picked former power secretary Sanjeev Nandan Sahai for the job. But that appointment was not confirmed by the government and so the post was re-advertised in November 2021.

The panel, which also comprises secretaries to the ministries of oil and commerce, secretary legal affairs and economic affairs secretary – in February this year picked former oil secretary Tarun Kapoor for the job.

But during the time the selection was sent to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for approval, the 1987-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from the Himachal Pradesh cadre was appointed in May as an advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

And so the post had to be advertised again.

An oil ministry official said the ministry was placing top priority on making the appointment at the earliest.

Last time, as many as 13 candidates, including former chairman of ONGC and a former director of IOC, had applied for the top job at PNGRB. Out of these, the ministry shortlisted seven candidates and Mr. Kapoor was picked by the search-cum-selection committee after interviews.

Former Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) chairmen Subhash Kumar and Shashi Shanker as well as GK Satish, who superannuated as director for planning and business development from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), had applied for the top job.

Mr. Shanker however was not shortlisted.

Mr. Kapoor, who retired as oil secretary in November-end 2021, was later tasked to head the Energy Transition Advisory Committee, a panel set up by the oil ministry in December to draw up an energy transition roadmap for the oil and gas sector.

PNGRB comprises four members besides the chairman. Former GAIL directors Gajendra Singh and AK Tiwari are currently the two technical members of the PNGRB while Ajit Kumar Pande is a member (legal).

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