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A new reform will change the way CMDs of PSUs are appointed

PW Bureau

The government will not require any approval from the PESB and DPE to appoint board-level officers and will instead just route its proposal to the Appointments Committee

New Delhi: As part of a restructuring process, the government has cleared the deck to fast-track the appointment of board-level officers in PSUs and eliminate the role of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) or the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), while following the search-cum-selection route. The move is going to open the doors for private sector applicants as well.

A November 14 memo from the DPE said, “Prior concurrence of the DPE and PESB in order to fill up a board level post by the Search-cum-Selection Procedure mode instead of the standard PESB route to be dispensed with.” In its stead, the proposals will require a clearance from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), which has a PESB member onboard.

The memo added, “Such proposals for exemption (from the PESB route) may be considered directly by the ACC without routing them through DPE and/or PESB provided that the concerned administrative ministry records the reasons in writing with the approval of the Minister-in-charge as to why such exemption is being proposed.”

How does the current system work?

The system that was being followed for the appointment of a board-level officer — chairperson, MD or director — the concurrence of the DPE and the PESB, a committee of retired bureaucrats, was required for an exemption from the regular procedure which entailed an advertisement for the vacancy, followed by shortlisting of candidates from among the applicants and an hour-long interview by PESB members.

The new process of appointment is expected to cut down time

According to officials, the move will just cut down the time that’s taken to appoint board-level officers as the PESB has never objected to the Search-cum-Selection Process. It is also believed to be in line with the government’s efforts to centralise governance and administration.

The current regime has been using the Search-cum-Selection route for most chairman level posts where the committee has the option to select a person who has not even applied for the job.