In some cases, the top posts have been lying vacant for as long as 18 months. According to sources in the Department of Public Enterprises, the country’s biggest oil refining company ONGC is without a Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) since April 1, 2021 i.e. 16 months, while its subsidiary OIL is working without a head since July 1, 2022.
Similarly Railway Ministry’s catering arm IRCTC is also without a full-time Chairman since February 1, 2021, a gap of more than 18 months. BEL too has no chief since July 1, 2021 while Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) Chairman’s post is lying vacant since June 1 this year.
While in the case of SCI and OIL, the Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) has recommended candidates for the posts of CMD and MD, for entities like ONGC, IRCTC and BEL, the selection process for CMDs and chairpersons is undertaken by Civil Services Board or Search Cum Selection Committee.
Sources within the Department of Public Enterprises, which comes under Finance Ministry, said that all the 21 vacant posts of CMDs and MDs are under various stages of being filled up.
Some other entities which are running without a full-time chief include Mahanadi Coalfields, HMT Ltd, Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd and Sagarmala Development Company Ltd among others.
Sources added that though efforts are made to ensure that posts at board level don’t lie vacant for long durations, CPSEs have been functioning without regular heads due to various reasons.