Month on, Punjab government fails to appoint new PSPCL CMD
The PSPCL has 85 lakh subscribers and is one of the biggest autonomous corporations of the state government, having a budget of Rs 32,000 crore.punjab Updated: May 21, 2018 13:09 IST
It’s almost a month since a screening-cum-selection committee, headed by chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh, had shortlisted three candidates for the post of chairman and managing director (CMD) of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), but the government has failed to take a final call on the appointment of the CMD.
The PSPCL has 85 lakh subscribers and is one of the biggest autonomous corporations of the state government, having a budget of Rs 32,000 crore.
The panel had reportedly shortlisted NK Sharma, currently working as director (distribution), PSPCL; Baldev Singh Sran, retired PSPCL chief engineer, and Harbans Singh, regional executive director of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). The interviews were held in the last week of April.
Besides the chief secretary, other members of the selection committee are additional chief secretary, power, Satish Chandra, and Power Finance Corporation Ltd chairman Rajeev Sharma.
Sources said a powerful group of bureaucrats is lobbying for NK Sharma to get a control over the department, while politicians and power engineers are batting for Baldev Sran. “The file would have been cleared, had the power portfolio not been assigned to newly inducted minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar. As an MLA earlier, Kangar had lobbied for Sran for the post of director (generation) also,” they said.
They said the minister is keen to appoint a person of his choice and had kept the file with him for long. He handed over the file to chief minister Capt Amarindeer Singh only after having a word with him about the shortlisted candidates.
Despite HT repeated phone calls, Kangar was not available for his comments on the matter. The sources said the file is now in the CM’s office, and he will take a call on it after May 25. They said some bureaucrats even want that the CMD’s post should be re-advertised, so that its charge remains with IAS officers.
A Venu Prasad, an IAS officer, currently holds the CMD’s charge as former CMD KD Chaudhry was asked to put in his papers in March 2017.
It is for the first time that the Punjab government has conducted interviews for the post of PSPCL CMD. This is a departure from the previous practice of selecting the officer through a screening of service record, with the chief minister giving the final nod.