Oil ministry to its PSUs: Give details of perks, foreign trips of officials

Pradhan’s move follows complaints received from the Central Vigilance Commission and the Cabinet Secretariat.

Written by Amitav Ranjan | New Delhi | Updated: May 8, 2017 10:39 am
 Oil ministry, Oil ministry-Dharmendra Pradhan, Dharmendra Pradhan, Oil ministry-officials foreign travel, public sector undertakings, oil, gas sector officials, oil ministry officials benefits, india news, indian express Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, (File Photo)

TIGHTENING THE screws on state-run companies, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is examining their spending on fringe benefits, such as perks, facilities and foreign travel, for senior officials of public sector undertakings in the oil and gas sector.

In a letter dated March 14, Pradhan’s ministry asked all PSUs to submit a report on the perks and facilities being provided to board-level directors, highlighting their monetary implications on the company’s balance sheet and red-flagging if they did not fall within official guidelines.

Pradhan’s move follows complaints received from the Central Vigilance Commission and the Cabinet Secretariat, which indicated that PSUs under his ministry were handing out a number of such benefits to their directors — some of these perks are said to be beyond norms prescribed by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).

“It is also not clear whether these facilities/perks are being given with the approval of the board of the PSUs,” said the ministry’s letter. A consolidated note, it said, should also be put up “within a month” before the respective boards for information.

In April, Pradhan recorded his concern over foreign travel by officials in these PSUs. Following directions from his office, the ministry sent a separate communication to the PSUs seeking details of foreign trips by officials, with the purpose and outcomes to be clearly defined.

“Against the name of each officer, the number of times he has visited abroad and names of the countries should be mentioned. The purpose of each foreign visit and outcome of the visit shall also be mentioned against each name,” said the note dated April 17.

The details are being sought from financial year 2014-15 till date, which coincides with Pradhan’s administrative control over the PSUs. Incidentally, overseas visits by PSU officials are first cleared by the Secretary and then by the Minister, with all such proposals outlining the purpose of the visits.

PSU employees enjoy a number of fringe benefits, such as special dearness allowance for certain categories, fuel and light charges, expenses on cleaning material and garden maintenance, and even wages for sweepers and domestic help.

Top executives are also provided with furniture, air-conditioners and office vehicles, with an option to buy them either at depreciated or market value, whichever is higher, after two years of personal use.

The perks, PSU officials claim, are necessary to attract and retain the best talent in the industry, which has seen a massive exodus of employees in the past to the private sector.

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  1. O
    May 9, 2017 at 1:21 pm
    (3). (Contd…)Tens of thousands of oil sector employees at difft.levels incldg. lower level workmen categories get various furniture, TV sets music systems, electronic items along with their generous annual maintenance amounts. These need to be curbed. (4). A few thousand Retired oil sector employees incldg. those of IOC get very meagre monthly pension pittance (through LIC annuity payment) ranging from Rs.4000 to Rs.7000 only. Review and make it some decent monthly amounts say minimum Rs.40000 each. Even school teachers, clerks, librarians etc get monthy pensions ranging from Rs.40000 to Rs.70000 each. Kindly understand the fate of the very poorly pensioned strugg retired oil sector employees. Review & decently upgrade their monthly pensions very early as above..
    1. A
      May 9, 2017 at 2:03 pm
      Enjoying all benefits while in service and complaining after retirement. What is this?
    2. O
      May 9, 2017 at 1:20 pm
      (1). Oil company employees numbering about one lakh get LTC benefit once in two years only. About 14 lakh Rly employees & their family members numbering about one crore in all, SURPRISINGLY GET SIX TO NINE LTCs EVERY YEAR per employee, through free family travel Rly Passes for them all. They also get annually six PTOs each for travel at onethird the train fare. About 13 lakh retired Rly employees also get 2 to 3 LTCs each (Rly Passes) every year. A few thousand retired employees of oil sector DON’T GET ANY LTC facilities at all. SO First of all remove all these extra-generous LTCs perks in Railways and give the Rly employees JUST ONE LTC EACH every year. Otherwise give oil sector employees also one LTC each annually & provide free gas cylinder each every month. if not 50 litres of petrol also per month. (2). ONGC employees get free gas supply in their colonies/houses .through pipeline route. Then why not give at least one LPG cylinder per month to oil sector employees p.m.
      1. K
        Keen Observer
        May 9, 2017 at 9:31 pm
        Why dont you join Railways , why suffer in Oil sector :)
      2. R
        Rajesh Tyagi
        May 9, 2017 at 9:02 am
        Why not seek details of foreign junkets by ministers Anand which Psu funds their stay and other amenities there? How many CSr activities of PSU are carried by agencies of kith and kin of minsisters ?
        1. K
          Kokilaben Ambani Hospital
          May 9, 2017 at 7:15 am
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          1. A
            Anurag Srivastava
            May 8, 2017 at 6:37 pm
            Why leave the Ministers and Bureaucrats who also mulch the PSUs under their administrative control.
            1. S
              Sankaran Krishnan
              May 8, 2017 at 1:29 pm
              There should be a mechanism by which the ries and perks that are payable must be paid and wherever they procured some immovable property be it personal or official insist on getting the Bill from the buyer which can always be cross verified and if found guilty both are to be punished equally or else inform them that perks are all actual and the Bill/Invoice which should be produced for reimbur t !!!
              1. K
                May 8, 2017 at 12:56 pm
                Well done, Appreciated. Highlight all ground level problem in system so that people with authority will be made accountable. There is huge inefficiency in Indian governing system. This is inherited by long time political system. Now the time to wake up and be professional. Hopefully government also responding in right direction. Evidence is that now all political parties talking about growth and good governance, rater than communal, minority appea t and reservation. Thanks Modiji.
                1. D
                  May 8, 2017 at 8:14 am
                  Big shots in oil PSUs try to get credit when the going is good for their companies and blame oil prices when corporate bottom lines go down. If they are to run like corporate en ies, there should be cost-cutting exercises instead of the ever-increasing perks they have got themselves. Of course, this applies to all PSUs. Like additional levels are created for themselves by the civil servants, oil PSUs have been doing that too.
                  1. S
                    May 8, 2017 at 9:53 am
                    What wrong, if they are copying our hardworking (not Harward) P.M.
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