B-90, Saraswati Marg,
Bajaj Nagar, Jaipur-302015
January 21, 2009
Shri Raghav Sharan Pandey
Secretary to the Government of India
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas,
Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi –110001 Tel: 011-23383501, 23383562Fax:011-23383100,23070723 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. Pandey,
1. I am overwhelmed by the response from OASA members to my email “TRAITOR, TRAITOR, EVERYWHERE, NOR ANY PATRIOT TO SEE” (copy enclosed for those who did not get the previous mail). Hence I have decided to take my humble efforts further.
2. Though I would not like to revisit the issues raised in the previous mail my sincere apologies for missing out on two most illustrious and contemporary names viz. Mr. Akhand Pratap Singh and Ms. Neera Yadav. Likewise not mentioning of uncivil service by both IPS and IAS officers during post Godhra riots and during 1984 anti-Sikh riots would amount to giving them clean chit by default. Compare 2-3 days strike by OASA with the inaction of 2-3 days by the Civil Administration. Did you sack any of IAS or IPS officers? Are IAS/IPS officers not culpable? Is economic loss of Rs. 1000.00 Crore a bigger holocaust than loss of 1000 lives? Have we not promised equality before law and equal protection of laws to all the citizens? Do we treat the misdemeanours of civil servants differently than that of lesser mortals like the office bearers of OASA? It also reminds me of Mr. R. K. Sharma, the Police Commissioner of Mumbai. He was allowed to retire GRACEFULLY and the very next morning DISGRACEFULLY arrested for complicity in Telgi Affair. If I make a mention of MARKER ISSUE you may say that I am revisiting the TRAITOR ISSUE. I sincerely don’t want to. It should not matter which side of the fence you are, because we both are Indians and on the same side of the fence. Mr. Pandey seeking an apology on ‘TRAITOR ISSUE’ from your BROTHER OIL PSU OFFICERS would certainly raise your stature by a few notches and may be the productivity of oil companies to new heights.
3. I am forwarding two PPT slide show, one titled ‘RAGHAV SHARAN PANDEY’ for your viewing and another ‘OIL INDUSTRY MEMBERS’ for OASA members. Both sides would immensely benefit in reforming their views about the other side. Mr. Pandey if you clean your glasses, I promise you would see a better world outside. Likewise I appeal to OASA members to seek full autonomy rather than settlement of wages. OASA ought to turn this caterpillar (TRAITOR TAG) into a beautiful butterfly (FULL AUTONOMY). Once you have FULL AUTONOMY wages and allowances could be directly linked to productivity and profitability. It would be your internal affair for all times to come.
4. SATYAM affair has shown us how centralization of power can destroy a good company. Satyam is not an isolated affair. CRB group (C R Bhansali) had gone similar way. It is just not an Indian phenomenon the problem is GLOBAL. Enron, Lehman brothers and many such examples are there to quote. The centralization of power in the hands of a few coupled with poor or no response by the statutory authorities, be it SEBI or MCA are the root cause of the problem.
5. There is also centralization of power in the hands of BUREAUCRACY when it comes to running public sector units. Today Mr. Pandey you lord over almost 10-15 OIL PSU and issue diktats, which may not always be correct, or in the best interest of the respective companies. While the tenure of Chairman and/or Directors is three years as per company law, bureaucracy changes every now and then. No fixed tenure. No long-term perspective. Moreover these oil companies claim to compete with each other. IOC, BPC and HPC are competitors so are ONGC and OIL. Furthermore now they have to compete with Reliance and Essar. Your job is policy making. It is no secret that private sector has always managed to get the policy written which favours their interests. Late Dhiru Bhai Ambani made no secret of it. So in a way the BUREAUCRACY is eroding public wealth invested in PUBLIC SECTOR by promoting the cause of Private Sector both at policy making stage and also at the implementation stage (when it comes to giving project approvals). The IOC-IBP Amalgamation was pending with MOP & NG for good 1 ½ years while private sectors get approvals/rejections from High Court within couple of months. BINA REFINERY of BPC is on anvil for past two decades, yet incomplete. While Reliance and Essar who could not even properly spell the words petroleum, refinery, etc., about 20 years back own three of the largest refineries in the country. Thanks, not to their business acumen, but helpful and at times pliable BUREAUCRACY (BAN GAYA RAQIB AKHIR, JO THA RAZDA APNA).
6. There is a strong need to minimize the role of bureaucracy in PSU affairs. Why should you not limit your role to policy making alone.
7. I give you the example of L & T. A few days back the Prime Minster of India honoured Mr. Naik CMD of L & T (ET Award). Who owns it? No identifiable promoter group. The same is the status of PSU as the investment belongs to 110 Crore people of India. But you happen to exercise the control when actually you should not. Neither you, nor the minister has any stakes in running the PSU profitably. I have received a copy of an article published in Assam Tribune (word file enclosed). Although it appears that article has been published at the behest of ONGC officers yet the credibility of the article is not lost. The attrition rate is visible and alarming. Human Resource is the most valuable resource of company yet you are forcing the companies to lose HR by unnecessarily interfering in the day-to-day affairs of the company.
8. I am on record, how you, your predecessors, your minister, his predecessors have by making selective disclosures in advance about the price revision of Petrol and Diesel made IOC, BPC and HPC lose Rs. 2100.00 Crores in three years. I have consistently raised the issue of deliberate leakage of price sensitive information in AGM of IOC/BPC and HPC. The calculations of losses and my speeches delivered in AGM are on record. Like Raju of SATYAM, you too are siphoning off the funds belonging to the company. The NDA Government allotted 4000 petrol pumps to the kith and kin of ministers, MPs and bureaucrats. The ministry appointed the OSB Chairmen. Except 4000 odd bureaucrats there is no doubt in the minds of anyone in the country that the nation is the last priority on the minds of bureaucracy. I would be too happy to be proved wrong. The following illustrative piece might not please you, but other recipients of the mail would find it educative.
IAS officer resigns in Uttar Pradesh
13 Dec 2006, 1524 hrs IST, IANS
LUCKNOW: An officer in Uttar Pradesh has resigned from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) "to transcend limitations that the service imposes".
Anil Kumar, a member (judicial) with the board of revenue in Allahabad for the past one year, put in his papers on Tuesday, though the resignation is yet to be formally accepted by the government.
"It is a well thought out decision. I have not acted on an impulse or provocation. During the past 17 years of service, I felt that I was not able to really deliver as the priorities were directed somewhere else," Kumar, a 1989 batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer, said on Wednesday.
Twelve IAS officers in Maharashtra have quit over the past year and three put in their papers recently in Andhra Pradesh.
Though Kumar denies any immediate provocation for the resignation, he wrote in his resignation letter: "It is my belief that the time has come to transcend the limitations that the service imposes and to be of greater use to the community, to the state, the nation, the world and the human race, so that one could strive towards self-actualisation."
He added: "Having served in the IAS for 17 years, I do not even have any craving for the glamour of power that this service offers. I am through with all that."
A graduate in statistics, he had joined the IAS with great aspirations.
"But my first disenchantment came during my stint as chief development officer in Fatehpur in 1993 when I realised that under the existing system, it was not how you have used public money, but how much you have used that matters since the emphasis was only on utilisation of allocated funds," he said.
"At that stage I was still hopeful that may be it was one bad experience and perhaps time would give me more opportunities to really deliver," he said.
"However, now that stage is gone and I can clearly visualise what lies ahead. So there is no point sticking along in a system where efficiency goes for a six and no one is bothered about delivery and quality," he added.
According to Kumar, who was district magistrate in five different districts, "That remains the case with all regimes irrespective of the political master sitting at the helm."
Evidently, except for Hathras, where he stayed deputy magistrate for a year, his other stints in Ghazipur, Fatehpur, Etah and Bulandshahr were as brief as four to five months.
He has also been the vice-chairman of the Agra Development Authority and the Kanpur Development Authority, but did not last long in these posts either.
His colleagues describe him as an "efficient" officer but also do not see him as "untainted". Kumar has faced vigilance inquiries and was also suspended as deputy magistrate of Bulandshahr.
"But all that is history. As of today, there is no probe pending against me and I am on a clean slate," he said.
Neither Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Naveen Bajpai nor appointments secretary Umesh Sinha were available for comment.
9. What a great paradox that a majority of bureaucrats do not want their children to remain in India.
10. Let me now come to the solution part.
a. Now that the Crude Oil prices have eased, it is right time to dismantle APM completely. There should not be transfer of funds from a company to another company whether in the name of subsidy or in the name of cross holdings. The companies should take independent decision on dividend payout and it should not be guided by the need to fill resource gap of the government or budget deficit of the Government through interim dividends.
b. The present set of Board of Directors deserves to get marching orders like the SATYAM Board. A few of them like Mr. R. S. Sharma of ONGC and Mr. Sarthak Behuria of IOC who are facing criminal prosecution at Jaipur for violation of section 207 of the Companies Act, ought to have been removed long back. (Pdf file enclosed) People like Mr. S. K. Barua who is also facing criminal prosecution along with Mr. Sharma and Mr. Behuria should have never been appointed as independent director of BPC as he had failed to discharge his duties diligently as Independent Director in IOC.
c. All Public Limited Companies must have minimum 9 Directors. The promoter can have 1/3rd functional directors on Board. Another 1/3rd Board of Directors be appointed by SEBI, MCA, and the concerned Ministry, minimum one each (Independent Directors). Each independent director shall be responsible and answerable to the appointing authority viz. one to SEBI, another to MCA and third to concerned ministry. One-third Board of Directors ought to be elected by the employees, which would mean one from officers association, another from union and the third by rotation from officers association/union. There must be suitable amendment to the Companies Act, 1956. This is particularly required as some of the companies like Colgate and Castrol, taking advantage of lax laws and superintendence had allotted shares to themselves at discounted prices to gain 51% majority holdings. The Government Companies (51% holding by Government) too violate Companies Act, with impunity. The participation of workers in the management would obviate the need for wage settlements, as the board decisions would be binding on workers as well as officers. Neither group would be calling the shots. It is expected that over a period of time the groups would objectively work for the benefit of the company, shareholders and employees.
d. As far as directors from employee quota are concerned they will become ex-officio directors for three years and would no longer remain employees of the company. The company would offer them VRS scheme. However, they would be free to remain member of the association/union till the notional date of retirement and being eligible for re-election in the union/association can continue to function on the board till the notional date of retirement if the respective union/associations retain faith in them.