GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 2604
ANSWERED ON FEBRUARY 18, 2014
Deputations to Senior Posts at Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB)
2604. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS be pleased to state;
(a) whether several officials from public sector oil companies such as GAIL, HPCL etc. have been appointed or deputed to senior positions in Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB);
(b) if so, the reasons therefor; and
(c) how Government proposes to address the conflict of interest that is bound to arise, since this would compromise the independence of the regulator and its ability to take free and fair decisions?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF PETROLEUM & NATURAL GAS
(SMT. PANABAAKA LAKSHMI)
(a) to (c): The Central Government appoints the Chairperson, four Members and Secretary in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). None of the Board members or Secretary are on deputation from public sector oil companies. However, few officers from public sector oil companies, possessing the requisite sectoral experience, are posted on deputation to assist the Board in discharge of its functions. Substantive decisions, including dispute resolutions are taken only by the Board of PNGRB. Since none of the officials taken on deputation from the public sector oil companies are part of the Board, the question of conflict of interest or compromise in the independence of PNGRB does not arise.