The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister has cleared the appointment of C S Verma, director (finance), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, as the chairman of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), the country’s second-largest steel producer. He is expected to assume charge on Wednesday.
Verma, 51, had been appointed as the finance director of BHEL in 2005, prior to which he was associated with the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications and IT as director (finance) with the board of ITI. He takes over the mantle from S K Roongta, who superannuated on May 31. During the interim period, SAIL director (finance) Soiles Bhattacharya was given the additional charge of the chairman.
Verma’s appointment comes at a time when the government is looking at divesting a 20 per cent stake in the public sector unit (PSU) in its effort to earn Rs 40,000 crore in the current financial year.
“Once the chairman is appointed, the (SAIL) board has to be restructured. According to Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) guidelines for the disinvestment to go through we have to appoint 12 independent directors. After this, the request for proposal would be called for and book runners would be appointed,” Steel Secretary Atul Chaturvedi told Business Standard.
Currently, the government holds an 86 per cent stake in SAIL and the sell-off is estimated to mop up Rs 16,000 crore through follow-on public offer (FPO), which is expected to be completed in two phases, the first expected in September.
“The process has to be followed in a very careful manner to avoid any last-minute obstacle. I have till March 31, 2011 to complete the process and hit the market. We might delay it also if the markets conditions are not proper. We will wait for the right time as we have to raise Rs 8,000 crore this year,” he said.
SAIL posted a net profit of Rs 6,754 crore, up 9.4 per cent from Rs 6,170 crore in 2008-09 in the year ended March 31, while its total income declined to Rs 43,233.26 crore as against Rs 45,623.41 crore on lower net sales realisation.