16 April 2021 ~ 0 Comments

At last PESB has a Chief; she has her task cut out

After six months the government finally moved and appointed the new chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). Mallika Srinivasan, Chairman and MD of Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) is the first private sector specialist to be appointed as the head of PESB for a three-year term. Hopefully, her appointment will now end the delayed crucial appointments to top management posts in central public sector enterprises. Her fixed tenure should also end the ‘revolving door’ policy seen in recent times – the PESB has seen five chairmen in the past five years!

The Modi sarkar was likely spurred into action after the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, recently passed adverse comments on the government’s failure to fill the top positions in the PESB. Further, the committee had noted “with anguish” the abysmal number of women in public enterprises. It has sought to know from the PESB whether this is due to the absence of competent women aspirants or the glass-ceiling effect? Srinivasan’s appointment is the government’s answer to that.

Among the first things Srinivasan will have to deal with is reporting to the parliamentary panel about the number of vacancies and also supply reasons why these posts have not been filled. Apparently, as many as 135 posts of CMDs and directors have not been filled for more than six months to a year. And with several CMDs set to retire during the year, the number of vacancies is likely to grow unless quick action is not taken. Srinivasan will have to hit the deck running!

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