The race for the top post at India’s largest power-transmission firm, Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd (PGCIL), is gaining momentum, with 16 aspirants from organizations such as NTPC Ltd, National Hydroelectric Power Corp. Ltd (NHPC) and Power Finance Corp. Ltd (PFC) submitting their applications.
This comes at a time when the government is putting greater investment focus on the transmission sector.
The Public Enterprises Selection Board will be conducting the interviews on 6 February. The aspirants include Raji Philip, chairman and managing director, Hindustan Paper Corp. Ltd; S.K. Chaturvedi, director, personnel, NHPC; H.K. Sharma, chairman and managing director, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd; Rajiv Ranjan, chairman, Chhattisgarh state electricity board; Rajeev Sharma, executive director, PFC; A.K. Srivastava, chairman and managing director, Cement Corp. of India; A.K. Singhal, director, finance, NTPC; A.K. Lomas, chairman and managing director, Mineral Exploration Corp. Ltd and Harish Chandra, director, finance, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd.
The public sector unit’s internal candidates include R.N. Naik, executive director, engineering and human resources, and V.M. Kaul, executive director, private investments and business development.
“There is a lot of intense political jockeying happening for this job, which is understandable given the importance and the size of PGCIL in the Indian power sector,” said a senior government official who did not wish to be named.
While the term of the current chairman and managing director, R.P. Singh, will end only in August, he has ruled out continuing until then.
Once PESB shortlists two names for the post in the order of preference, it wouldsend the names to the power ministry, the nodal ministry for the organization, which will then forward it to theAppointments Committee of the Cabinet. Once the committee finalizes its decision, it will send the name to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for final approval.
PGCIL currently owns and operates 61,875km of transmission lines and transmits around 45% of the power generated in the country.
It closed 2006-07 with revenues of Rs4,082 crore and a net profit of Rs1,088 crore.
The government has proposed an outlay of Rs14 trillion to build a national power transmission grid that will more than double the transmission capacity in the country to 37,150MW by 2012.
This will enable the transmission of power from regions where there is a surplus to those where there is a deficit.
On its part, PGCIL plans to invest a total of Rs55,000 crore in the current Plan period (2007-12).