ET was the first to report in June that the petroleum ministry had recommended a 2-year tenure extension for Vaidya.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for re-employment on a contract basis of Shri Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, chairman, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd for a period of one year beyond the date of his superannuation i.e. w.e.f 01.09.2023 till 31.08.2024, or till the appointment of regular incumbent to the post, or until further orders, whichever is the earliest,” a government memo said.
It’s rare for the heads of state-run companies to get an extension. Vaidya would be re-employed immediately after his retirement at the end of August.
Last December, the government appointed Arun Singh chairman of ONGC for three years. Singh had retired as BPCL chairman just a few months earlier. Last week, the government relaxed rules to give cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba a one-year extension.Indian Oil is the top refiner and fuel retailer in the country and acts as a price setter for the domestic market. Its big role in domestic supplies and prices makes it crucial for the government in an election year.Last year when fuel prices were sky-high in the global market, Indian Oil and other state-run fuel retailers froze pump prices. High fuel prices often trigger voter anger and political protests.Global energy markets have now somewhat stabilized after more than two years of extreme volatility.
Before taking over as the chairman three years ago, Vaidya was Director (refineries) at Indian Oil. In May, Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) rejected all ten candidates it interviewed to select a successor to Vaidya and advised the petroleum ministry to seek an alternative selection mechanism.