New Delhi: Even after state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) acquiring Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) in January last year, the selection panel is learnt to have faced a ‘litmus test’ for appointing directors in HPCL in the coming days due to some technicalities on the promoter’s issue.
As far as the existing vacancies are concerned in HPCL, the director (finance) has been lying vacant after J Ramaswamy retired on February 28. The government has not yet interviewed for the post by its selection panel — Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB).
However, a top source said, “The government will face a real test when interviews to fill the post of director (finance) of HPCL as it is learnt to have faced with some technicalities to not list ONGC as its promoter.”
For selecting a director of a company where the government or its controlled firm has more than 50 per cent stake, a PESB panel interviews from among shortlisted candidates. Generally, the secretary of the administrative ministry and chairman of the company concerned assist the interview panel for the selection of directors.
In January 2018, ONGC bought the government’s entire 51.11 per cent stake in HPCL, thereby becoming its subsidiary, but the HPCL management is reportedly not to have agreed yet to recognise ONGC as its promoter.
For the selection process of the directors, the source further said that the chairman of ONGC, as a result of the company being the holding company of HPCL, should be on the interview panel.
However, the DoPT guidelines says that in the case of subsidiaries, the full-time chairman of the holding company is invited to assist the board.