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Vacancies at PSUs pile up; when will PESB appointments resume? Read this

Director-level vacancies at some of the top PSUs in India have been piling up as PESB has put the recruitment process on hold since the end of August 2020

Director-level vacancies at some of the top PSUs in India have been piling up as PESB has put the recruitment process on hold since the end of August 2020.
Director-level vacancies at some of the top PSUs in India have been piling up as PESB has put the recruitment process on hold since the end of August 2020.
  • A total of 53 vacancies have been announced by the PESB between September 10, 2020 and January 7

  • A minimum of 10 CMD posts are set to fall vacant in 2021, while several others have already fallen vacant and appointments are due to be made

New Delhi: Director-level vacancies at some of the top public sector undertakings (PSUs) in India have been piling up as the organisation responsible for top appointments in the public sector — the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) — has put the recruitment process on hold since the end of August 2020. The PESB has been functioning without a Chairman since Rajiv Kumar was transferred to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on September 1, 2020. And that is part of the reason why the appointment process at the PESB has been put on hold.

A total of 53 vacancies have been announced by the PESB between September 10, 2020 and January 7.

Appointment process to resume only when PESB gets a new Chairman

A top official in the know of the matter, who spoke to PSU Watch, said that the appointment process will only resume after a new Chairman takes charge. “We are waiting for the government to appoint a Chairman. Once that is done, the appointment process will see some progress,” said the source. The PESB has been functioning without a chief for the last four months now, with two Members on its Board — MK Gupta and RAdm Shekhar Mital.

PESB may resume appointment process in a new way

It must be noted that immediately before demitting office, former PESB Chairman Rajiv 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. 

In order to expand the pool, the plan proposed including all Central Government services, including unorganised services/ government companies (as defined in Indian Companies Act, 2013) in the slot earmarked for government.

ALSO READ: PESB proposes slew of reforms to overhaul senior-level PSU appointments

Sources said that comments were sought from various stakeholders on the proposed reforms and they have now been sent to PSUs for seeking their views on the same. “It is difficult to arrive at a consensus, a solution that pleases all. The comments made by stakeholders have been circulated amidst PSUs and we are waiting to see what they have to say. If the overhauled appointment system gets a nod from the government, PESB will resume appointments in a new way. It is up to the Central government to decide whether they want to stick to the old system or bring in a new system for appointments in PSU,” said the source.

At least 10 CMD posts in PSUs to fall vacant in 2021 

According to the vacancies announced by the PESB until January 7, a minimum of 10 CMD posts are set to fall vacant in 2021, while several others have already fallen vacant and appointments are due to be made. The CMDs of PSUs like Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Limited (BVFCL), National Seeds Corporation (NSC), RITES Limited, KIOC Limited, THDC India Limited are set to retire some time in 2021. 

In addition, vacancies have been announced by PESB for Director-level positions at Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), GAIL, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Coal India Ltd (CIL), among others. The vacancies at these top-notch positions in PSUs will hinder decision-making process and the day-to-day functioning of these companies, if they continue to be unattended.

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