IF THE Cabinet accepts a proposal by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) the NDA ministers will cease to have any say in the selection of directors and CMDs in PSUs. A Cabinet Secretary-led panel will now recommend one name from a shortlist of three to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) for approval, say media reports.
The ACC comprises...the Prime Minister and the Home Minister. But the new proposal effectively gives the Prime Minister’s Office powers in the process after the government ordered last August that the Home Minister’s approval be obtained “ex post facto (after the clearance).”
The DoPT’s Cabinet proposal will also reduce the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) to an empanelment authority. DoPT is headed by the Prime Minister.
Thus far, the PESB shortlisted candidates for each post interviewed them and recommended one name to the relevant ministry to be forwarded to the ACC for approval.
If the minister disapproved of the PESB’s selection, a second candidate’s name would be sent for approval.
Earlier, until last August, the ACC’s recommendations were sent to the home minister for approval before being ratified by the prime minister.
The PESB would interview the shortlisted candidates but submit a panel of three names — without ranking them — to the proposed committee which would pick one name for each vacancy and forward it to the ACC for approval.
Besides the Cabinet Secretary, this panel would comprise secretaries from DoPT, finance, department of public enterprise (DPE), and an additional secretary from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The Cabinet note would also open PSU vacancies to private sector professionals — this option was allowed since April 2008, but was discontinued by the previous UPA government in April 2013.
The posts would be open for executives from listed and unlisted companies provided the applicant is a director or a CEO, and the company they work for meets the minimum corporate annual turnover threshold of Rs 1,000 crore.