The government of West Bengal is likely to approach either Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) director general Tarun Das or Peerless General Finance & Investment Co Ltd chairman D N Ghosh to take up the responsibility of non-executive chairman of Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL), according to sources close to the development.
Tapan Mitra, HPL's former chairman, withdrew the resolution on his re-appointment at the company's last annual general meeting on September 28.
Das has recently been nominated to the state planning board and is convenor of the chief minister's national task force for the state. He accompanied chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya on his recent trip to Japan, the largest investor in the state's power and road sectors.
While Das is trusted by the state government for his commitment and the respect he commands in industry, former State Bank of India chairman Ghosh is a finance wizard who may be able to restructure HPL's Rs 4,700-crore high cost debt to the satisfaction of the central bank and creditors.
However, given his heavy responsibility at PGFIL and credit rating agency ICRA Ltd, where he is also the chairman, Ghosh may in all likelihood refuse to take on any more responsibility, said sources.
The state has the right to appoint the non-executive chairman at HPL, while private sector promoter The Chatterjee Group (TCG) of Purnendu Chatterjee has the right to nominate the managing director and executive directors.
Both state and TCG hold 43 per cent each at HPL. However, the state is understood to be eager to be more closely involved than in the past so that HPL does not get into further finance problems without its knowledge, said sources.