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Ex-diplomat Preeti Saran quits PTC India board in series of exits

PTC reported a 29% fall in consolidated net profit for the quarter ended September at  ₹138.23 crore. (Mint)Premium
PTC reported a 29% fall in consolidated net profit for the quarter ended September at 138.23 crore. (Mint)

Former diplomat Preeti Saran has resigned from PTC India in a continuing exodus of independent directors who have reportedly complained of “lapses in governance, compliance and various other matters” in the state-run company and its subsidiary PFS

NEW DELHI : Former diplomat Preeti Saran has resigned from PTC India in a continuing exodus of independent directors who have reportedly complained of “lapses in governance, compliance and various other matters" in the state-run company and its subsidiary PFS.

On Tuesday, BSE chairman S. S. Mundra became the most high-profile independent director to step down from the board of the state-run power trading company.

In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, PTC said Saran resigned on 6 December with immediate effect. The filing which did not include the resignation letter or mention the reason for the resignation.

“The company shall be disclosing the required details in terms of provisions of SEBI (LODR)—Regulation 30 [Schedule III- Part A (7B)] within the time as mentioned therein," it said.

Queries sent to PTC India remained unanswered till press time.

Former secretary in the finance ministry Sushma Nath, former principal chief commissioner of income tax, Mumbai, Devendra Swaroop Saksena and Jayant Purushottam Gokhale, founder of Gokhale & Sathe, resigned from the board of PTC’s controversy-hit subsidiary PTC India Financial Services (PFS).

According to a regulatory filing by PFS, Saksena and Gokhale stepped down on 2 December, while Nath had resigned on 22 November.

On Wednesday, PTC reported a 29% fall in consolidated net profit for the quarter ended September at 138.23 crore. In its review report for the quarterly results, the auditor cited the resignations in PTC and PFS and concerns raised by the independent directors. “We draw your attention to Note 9 of the Statement that four independent directors of the company have resigned from the Board of the Company (Jayant Purushottam Gokhale, Sushama Nath and Subhash S. Mundra have resigned w.e.f. 5 December and Preeti Saran has resigned w.e.f. 6 December, mentioning lapses in governance, compliance and various other matters in the company and in PFS," the auditor’s review report said.

It also noted that the independent directors have raised concerns regarding conduct of the proceedings of the Risk Management Committee (RMC), and cognizance taken by the board of directors of the RMC’s report to look into the matters of corporate governance of PFS, non-implementation of recommendations in the RMC report, calling meetings at short notice among others, as elaborated in the resignation letters of the four directors.

In his resignation letter from the board of PFS, Saksena said the PTC India subsidiary follows deficient governance practices as shown by findings of forensic audit conducted between July 2022 and November 2022, non-constitution or delayed constitution of statutory committees that have resulted in penal actions by regulators among others.

Sushma Nath cited her ineligibility to continue as independent director and accomplishment of the role assigned to her on the board, as reasons for her resignation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rituraj Baruah

Rituraj Baruah is a senior correspondent at Mint, reporting on housing, urban affairs, small businesses and energy. He has reported on diverse sectors over the last six years including, commodities and stocks market, insolvency and real estate. He has previous stints at Cogencis Information Services, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) and Inc42.
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