New Delhi: Bokaro Steel Plant, a unit of SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd), has been functioning without a full-time CEO (Chief Executive Officer) for the last six months, including the period of the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of Coronavirus. In the absence of a CEO, several crucial decisions related to the plant's operations, production and development are either pending or delayed.
In a letter addressed to Union Minister for Steel Dharmendra Pradhan accessed by PSU Watch, Bokaro MLA Biranchi Narayan has said it has been over six months since former CEO of Bokaro Steel Plant Pawan Kumar Singh superannuated, but the post continues to be vacant still. "The post of Executive Director (personnel and administration) is set to fall vacant on June 30. In this situation, many issues pertaining to the benefit of residents in townships and employees are unresolved in the absence of a CEO," Narayan said in the letter.
Narayan said, "I have demanded that the Union Steel Minister appoint a CEO immediately. The Covid-19 lockdown has badly affected the development, production and operation in the plant. The absence of a CEO for such a long time has made the everyday functioning of the company difficult."
The post of CEO of Bokaro Steel Plant fell vacant after Singh retired on November 30, 2019. In the aftermath, the SAIL management appointed its Director (Technical) Harinand Rai as the CEO-in-charge of Bokaro Steel Plant in December 2019. However, Rai is looking after BSL's operations from the SAIL corporate office in New Delhi.
A committee of three Executive Directors has been formed to look after the day-to-day operations of the plant. But the committee is also dependent on the SAIL corporate office in New Delhi for getting approvals. This, the trade unions at the plant have said, has delayed several important decisions at the plant. "It is necessary to have a CEO at this time when the coronavirus has crippled the economy. It is not possible to go to Delhi for every problem. The ministry and SAIL should be serious on the matter and appoint a CEO. The problems of the workers are unresolved," BK Chaudhary, general secretary of the JMM's trade union wing Jai Jharkhand Majdoor Samaj (JJMS), said.
Sangram Singh, general secretary of Krantikari Ispat Majdoor Sangh (KIMS), said, "It's unfortunate that such an important plant doesn't have a full-fledged CEO for the past six months. It shows the steel ministry and Government of India's a lack of interest in PSUs, especially during the pandemic. BSL is facing a lot of difficulties in the absence of a CEO."
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