New Delhi: The Congress hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday over the appointment of the third ‘interim’ chairman in state-owned firm Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the last year, accusing Modi of “deliberately” destroying India’s top oil and gas producer ONGC so that one of the “humare do” takes it over, a seeming reference to Indian business tycoons Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani.
Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter saying that the public sector undertaking and one of the 10 Maharatna companies was India’s crown jewel a few years ago but “then came Mr. Modi”.
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“Just a few years ago ONGC was a crown jewel. Then came Mr. Modi. He forced ONGC to absorb GSPC, a scam-ridden company castigated by the CAG. ONGC is without a regular CMD since April ’21. It’s being deliberately destroyed so that one of the ‘Humare Do’ takes it over. Atrocious!” Jairam Ramesh wrote.
Just a few years ago ONGC was a crown jewel. Then came Mr. Modi. He forced ONGC to absorb GSPC, a scam-ridden company castigated by the CAG. ONGC is without a regular CMD since April ’21. It’s being deliberately destroyed so that one of the ‘Humare Do’ takes it over. Atrocious!
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) September 3, 2022
The interim appointment of the chairman has happened for the third time. ONGC is without a regular chairman and managing director since April 2021. The Centre has not made a full-time appointment yet, reported news agency PTI.
On August 31, ONGC appointed Rajesh Kumar Srivastav as the interim chairman and managing director of the company (CMD) after Alka Mittal, who was handling the additional charge has been superannuated.
In an order from the oil ministry order, Srivastava has been entrusted with an additional charge of CMD “for a period of 4 months with effect from September 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022 (i.e the date of his superannuation) or till the appointment of a regular incumbent to the post, or until further orders, whichever is the earliest.”
Mittal, director for human resources, was handling the additional charge after Subhash Kumar retired on December 31, 2021. Kumar, the then senior-most director on the company board and the director for finance, was named interim head after Shashi Shanker superannuated on March 31, 2021.
The Opposition has targeted ONGC’s acquisition of an 80 per cent stake in Gujarat State Petroleum Corp’s KG basin gas block over what it said was “pressure” exerted on the Maharatna company to bail out the debt-laden GSPC.