State gas utility Gail India Ltd has sought appointment of an independent chairman to Petronet LNG Ltd, once Petroleum Secretary M S Srinivasan retires by the month end.
Since its incorporation in 1998, petroleum secretaries have held additional charge as the head of India's biggest liquefied natural gas importer but now Gail, one of the equal promoters of Petronet, is seeking an outside, independent chairman.
Gail Chairman and Managing Director U D Choubey in a letter to Srinivasan has sought nomination of one of the chairmen of the four promoter PSUs as the head of Petronet, while a new chairman to the company is selected by a search committee.
"At the initial formative stage, it was a necessity to request Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas as Chairman of PLL Board in order to successfully operationalise PLL.
"Accordingly, suitable article has been incorporated in the Joint Venture Agreement, which selects for Chairman through a Search Committee after Secretary relinquishes the office of Chairman," Choubey wrote to Petroleum Secretary on July 7.
State-run Gail, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Oil and Natural Gas Corp own 12.5 per cent stake each in Petronet.
Srinivasan, who like his predecessors, including S C Tripathi, B K Chaturvedi, T Shankar, V N Kaul and S Narayan is officiating as Chairman of Petronet, will retire on July 31.
Choubey demanded that after Srinivasan retires, one of the four PSU chairmen be appointed as head of Petronet, till the time a Search Committee is formed and it selects an independent chairman.