Centre set to allow fixed terms for Navratna CMDs

New Delhi, June 3 -- The government's top companies can look for better working conditions and governance norms to compete with private sector as the Centre is set to allow fixed tenures to CMDs (chairman and managing directors) of the Maharatna and Navratna to be selected by a committee having experts.

A Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) has decided that age for appointment of independent directors in these public sector companies would be 45 to 70 years as compared to norm of 45 to 65 years. The GoM in the last meeting earlier this month has also decided that the independent directors will consult the government on the issues and would help the board to work for welfare of CPSEs. In case the government is not able to provide opinion the directors would consider public interest before delivering their judgment, the ministerial group said.

The group also decided on detailed procedure on appointment of CMDs and Chief Executive Officers (CEO) in CPSEs and Ratna companies. The new procedure says each body will have to appoint a separate selection committee having two expert members and secretary of the concerned ministry as members to consider the applicants for the post. It also said the selection process should be comprehensive.

In another decision, the GoM decided that 3% of the vacant posts above the level of deputy general manager and below director can be filled by giving extension to officers working in the companies. The extension will, however, be for two years.

The GoM has rejected the Planning Commission proposal to allow companies to set up an internal committee for departmental proceedings against officers against whom there is complaint of corruption or in-discipline. It said the Central Vigilance Commission rules would continue to apply. The group also did not agree with another proposal to delink monitoring system in CPSEs from performance pay of the officials.

The government sources said there was more or less consensus on five year fixed term for CMDs but a decision in this respect is expected to be taken at its next meeting.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.