By the Way

Steely silence

img-july15-31These days, there is an eerie silence among the CMDs of top public sector undertakings. Sources disclose that the NDA government has put most of the PSU Chairmen under surveillance. The Chairmen are both worried and furious. The latest fatality of the NDA government is former SAIL Chairman Chandra Shekhar Verma. His term as CMD, SAIL was till June 10, 2015. Everybody in the fraternity was confident that his term would be extended. The reason was that the PSEB (Public Service Enterprises Board), as a rule, advertises the post three months before the expiry of the term of the present CMD. No ad had been issued. Verma accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi on two occasions to show him the steel plants and maintained very cordial relations. Verma also developed good relations with the Minister of Steel, Narendra Singh Tomar, and the Secretary of the Ministry. Even on June 9, he was with the Steel Minister in Bhopal. Suddenly, on June 10, Secretary (Steel) Rakesh Singh was instructed to take charge of SAIL. Verma’s inability to get an extension is a mystery. SAIL is currently renovating its plants at an estimated cost of about `70,000 crore. gfiles learnt that most of the contracts have been reportedly awarded to a very prominent Italian company which has a dominance in metal and steel manufacturing machines. The Italian connection is an obvious link to a powerful leader of the Congress. Verma, being an efficient CMD, followed the instruction of the ruling dispensation. All are aware of how Italian business conglomerates managed most of the heavy price contracts with the help of Italian connections in India during the tenure of UPA 1 and UPA 2.

VOL. 9, ISSUE 4 | JULY, 2015

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