Race For Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Chief hots up

New Delhi: Former Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher, state-owned gas utility GAIL India Chairman B C Tripathi are among nearly a dozen persons in race to become the new Chairperson of oil regulator, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).

Former Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher
Former Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher
Pradeep Kumar Sinha, who is now Cabinet Secretary, had also applied for the post, which will fall vacant when incumbent S Krishnan completes five-year term in October. The application was made when he was Power Secretary and after his elevation, stands withdrawn.

Kher, a 1980 batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer who retired as Commerce Secretary at the end of June, is the most prominent among over half a dozen former bureaucrats who have applied for the position, sources privy to the development said.

Others who have applied include GAIL Director (Marketing) Prabhat Singh and former Oil India Ltd Chairman and Managing Director S K Srivastava.

Sources said a Search Committee will be formed to select from the applicants. The recommendation of the panel will be sent to the Cabinet Committee on Appointment (ACC) for vetting and final appointment.

Krishnan, a 1975 batch IAS officer who retired as Fertiliser Secretary on August 31, 2011, was appointed the Chairman of PNGRB in October after the regulatory body’s first head Labanyendu Mansingh completed five-year term.

He was selected by a search committee headed by the then Planning Commission member B K Chaturvedi.

The Chairperson would be entitled to a monthly consolidated pay package of Rs 300,000 (without house and car), according to advertisement issued calling for applications for the post said.

Persons of not more than 62 years of age as on January 1, 2015, can apply for the jobs.

Besides the chairperson, the PNGRB has four members — Member (Infrastructure), Member (Distribution), Member (Legal) and Member (Commercial).

PNGRB regulates refining, processing, storage, transportation, distribution, marketing and sale of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas excluding production of crude oil and natural gas so as and to ensure uninterrupted and adequate supply of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas in all parts of the country.