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NCOA seeks PM’s intervention in expediting long-overdue PESB Chairman appointment

In a letter to PM, the NCOA has said that there has been an inordinate delay in PESB Chairman appointment and it has affected top-level appointments in over 100 PSUs

NCOA seeks PM’s intervention in expediting long-overdue PESB Chairman appointment
NCOA seeks PM’s intervention in expediting long-overdue PESB Chairman appointment
  • An immediate appointment of the Chairman of PESB is very much required, so that key position holders of CPSEs can take long term decisions, the letter said

  • Sources who spoke to PSU Watch have said that the PESB Chairman appointment is stuck at the level of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet

New Delhi: The organisation responsible for top appointments in the public sector — the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) — has been headless for about six months now and has prompted the National Confederation of Officers’ Association (NCOA) to seek Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in expediting the PESB Chairman appointment. In a letter addressed to the PM, the NCOA has said that there has been an inordinate delay in the appointment of the PESB Chairman and it has affected top-level appointments in over 100 PSUs.

“... non-filling of key positions in more than 100 CPSEs since more than past 6 months due to delay in appointment of PESB Chairman is impacting the entire spirit (in the public sector) and risks impacting your vision of faster economic growth,” the NCOA has said in the letter.

Delay in PESB Chairman appointment has affected CMD, Direcor-level appointments

The NCOA said that the delay in appointment of PESB Chairman has affected the selection and placement of personnel to the posts of Chairman, Managing Director or Chairman-cum-Managing Director (Level-I) and Functional Director (Level-II) in CPSEs. “An immediate appointment of the Chairman of PESB is very much required, so that key position holders of CPSEs can take long term decisions to commensurate the vision as well as Mission of Government of India (sic.),” the letter argued.

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“NCOA is humbly requesting for your intervention for early appointment of Chairman of PESB,” said the organisation which claims to represent 2.5 lakh executives in the public sector.

What is taking so long for PESB Chairman appointment?

The last person to have occupied the post was former Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar. The PESB has been functioning without a head since Kumar was transferred to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on September 1, 2020. Sources who spoke to PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity have said that the appointment is stuck at the level of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). 

Resultantly, top vacancies at PSUs have been piling up.

The backdrop

It must be noted that immediately before demitting office, former PESB Chairman Kumar had proposed sweeping reforms to bring in greater transparency and optimise the process for senior-level PSU appointments. The new reforms proposed breaking away from the practice of post-specific advertisements and holding interviews for the said posts at the start of the year instead of conducting interviews for individual companies ahead of the vacancy of the post. The reforms are currently being vetted by various stakeholders, including ministries and PSUs.

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