The government has provided flexibility to ministries and departments in the selection of functional directors of companies under their administrative control without seeking approval of Public Enterprises Selection Board in a bid to give them autonomy in hiring, sources said.
The ministries are also exempted from seeking nod from the nodal agency Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) for undertaking exercise to fill vacancies of managing director or other directors on the boards of companies under their administrative control, they added.
The concerned ministries or departments can form search and selection panels for the appointment of managing director and other executive directors of the central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) administered by them without taking concurrence from the DPE and Public Enterprises Selection Board (PSEB). So, the prior approval of the DPE and head-hunter PESB has been done away with.
The ministries or departments can directly seek approval of Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister and undertake the selection process on their own through their own the Search cum Selection Committee without going through the standard PESB route, sources said.
Proposals for exemption may be considered directly by the ACC without routing them through DPE and PESB provided that the concerned administrative ministry records the reasons in writing with the approval of the minister as to why such exemption is being proposed, sources said.
A senior executive of a CPSE said the new rule may dilute the objectivity of the entire selection process as the search and selection panel would be constituted by the administrative ministry.
Besides, the eligibility criteria and other qualification would be decided by the concerned ministry.
There are 259 CPSEs in the country under the administrative control of various ministries and departments.
At present, the concerned ministry informs the PESB under the Department of Personnel and Training about likely vacancies in advance and the government headhunter accordingly advertises as per the ACC guidelines and seeks applications from eligible candidates for the post advertised.
After shortlisting, the board conducts an interview and recommends the list of the successful candidate through the concerned ministry to the ACC for taking a final call.
Selection by PESB was the rule, sources said, adding, but if the government provides the autonomy to the concerned ministry then selection by the headhunter will become exception.
Meanwhile, the government on Saturday appointed former Petroleum Secretary K D Tripathi as chairman of PESB while M K Gupta, former member (engineering) Railway Board as the member of the head hunter.
The high powered body constituted by the government in 1987 with the objective of evolving a sound managerial policy for the Central Public Sector Enterprises and, in particular, to advise Government on appointments to their top management posts.
The board comprising of chairperson and three members were also entrusted with the task of making selection of non-official directors for CPSEs.
However, the procedure was amended last year and power to make a selection of non-official director or independent director was given to Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training.