IAS officer S Bhattacharya is tipped to become the next chairman and managing director of Coal India, succeeding S Narsing Rao, also a career bureaucrat, despite government efforts to attract private sector talent for the challenging job. The Public Enterprises Selection Board has recommended Bhattacharya after interviewing 12 people, including three top company executives.
Rao had resigned in May, following which AK Dubey, Additional Secretary in the Coal Ministry, was given additional charge as CMD. The new chairman has a challenging task ahead as power, coal and renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal is determined to get Coal India to double its output and produce one billion tonnes of the fuel in 2019.
This would wipe out the acute fuel scarcity that has rendered thousands of megawatts of thermal power capacity idle, and significantly reduce the country´s dependence on imports. Bhattacharya, 57, is an IAS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre from the 1985 batch.
He is also the CMD of Singareni Collieries Company, a joint venture between Telangana and the Central government. The government had also invited applications from the private sector but the move drew little response. The 12 candidates interviewed by the search-cum-selection committee included two directors of Coal India and the CMD of one of its subsidiaries.
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