The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has put forward the proposal that Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Chairman S M Vaidya’s tenure be extended by two years, according to a report in The Economic Times. Vaidya will turn 60 this year and is scheduled to retire in August.
The final decision on the proposal will be taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. All ten candidates who were interviewed for the position of IOC chairman on May 16 were rejected by the Public Enterprises Selection Board. The board advised the ministry to create an alternative selection process, leading to speculation that Vaidya could get an extension.
Chiefs of state-owned enterprises are rarely granted an extension beyond the age of retirement. However, Arun Singh was appointed as the chairman of ONGC by the Centre in December 2022, after retiring as the head of BPCL just a few months earlier.
According to industry executives, Singh’s appointment has led to a change in perception among the top executives at public sector undertakings (PSUs). Directors and chairmen now believe that age is no longer a barrier to retaining the top job or securing another top job at another state-owned enterprise after retirement, they added.
Heads of PSUs are usually appointed for a term of five years, or until they reach retirement age, whichever comes first. Most of the top executives retire before the completion of their five-year term.
Terms of SAIL’s C S Verma and GAIL’s B C Tripathi were not extended by the Centre in recent years, forcing them to exit before the age of 60.