After appointing members from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the non-official directors in some public sector companies, the Central government has inducted some retired officials from the public sector insurance companies into the boards of Life Insurance Corporation, New India Assurance (NIA), National Insurance Company (NIC), United Insurance Company (UIC), Oriental Insurance Company (OIC) and GIC Re.
This is for the first time that so many retired officials of public insurers have been named as non-official directors of state owned insurance companies.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services for appointment of 15 persons as non-official directors on the board of public sector insurance companies for a period of three years from the date of notification of their appointment, or until further orders,” said a note from the finance ministry issued last week.
Three senior professionals — Bimalendu Chakrabarti, former CMD of NIA; R Chandrasekaran, former GM of GIC Re; and Ravindra Nath Chaturvedi — have been appointed as LIC non-official directors. Two of them are from the general insurance background who will now be on LIC board.
V Ramasamy, former CMD of National Insurance Company; G B Pandey, a former official of LIC; and A P Singh, a former official of LIC, have been inducted into the national reinsurer GIC Re.
Sanjeev Kumar Chanana, a former general manger of OIC and Kuldip Singh, a former general manger of NIC and Samir Kumar Banerjee have been appointed on the board of NIA.
Milind Anna Kharat, former CMD of United India Insurance, Panchanan Nayak, a former director and GM, UII and Aseem Chawla have been added as non-official director of Delhi based OIC.
Parijat Dutta, former general manager of GIC Re has joined United India Insurance (UII); Sivaraman M, former CEO of GIC Housing Finance; and Sudhakar Padhi have been inducted into the board of Kolkata-based NIC.
While some CMDs of the PSU insurance companies have welcomed the move, others have been skeptical about the effectiveness of a move to appoint so many retired officials in their companies.
The guidelines on CPSEs issued by the Department of Public Enterprises in August 2015 and those issued by the department of personnel and administrative reforms in February 2017 unanimously stipulate that persons nominated as non-official directors of CPSEs should be “professionals of repute having more than 15 years of relevant domain experience in fields relevant to the company’s area of operation”; “persons of eminence with proven track record from industry, business or agriculture or management.”
The Centre had earlier announced the appointments of some BJP functionaries in some of the public firms. These include ONGC (Sambit Patra, BJP spokesperson), Engineers India Ltd (Shazia Ilmi, BJP spokesperson), Cotton Corporation of India Ltd (Rajika Kacheria, Gujarat IT cell convenor), HPCL (Asifa Khan, BJP member), BHEL (Surama Padhy, former BJP MLA), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (Tamilisai Sounderarajan, president, BJP TN unit), State Trading Corporation (Bharatsinh Prabhatsinh Parmar, BJP MP), Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd (S Malathi Rani, BJP AP Mahila Morcha chief ), Andrew Yule & Company Ltd (Sipra Goon, secretary, BJP All India Manila Morcha), National Handloom Development Corporation Ltd (Shikha Roy, president BJP Delhi women’s wing) and National Aluminium Company Ltd (K.G. Sinha).