It’s a queer situation: instead of Steel Secretary Ms Aruna Sundararajan (IAS:1982:KL) functioning as CMD SAIL, it’s MSME Secretary, Dr A K Pujari (IAS:1980:KN), who has been doing the job since September 30. Even though Ms Sundararajan’s appointment as Steel Secretary was announced on September 28, but, curiously, she was not given the additional charge of SAIL CMD; instead, it was given to Dr Pujari.
The decision is said to be without precedent since it is always the presiding secretary of an administrative ministry that is entrusted with the responsibility of a CPSU under its charge.
The situation has a quirky history to it.
It is almost six months since the post of SAIL CMD fell vacant on June 11, 2015, when C S Verma retired after completing his tenure. Hard on the heels of Verma becoming the first Mahratna CMD who was denied extension of service in the NDA government, then Steel Secretary Rakesh Singh (IAS:1978:PB) was entrusted with the responsibility of CMD on June 12. Upon his retirement on September 30, an order was issued giving Dr Pujari additional charge of SAIL CMD “for a period of three months or till appointment of a regular incumbent to the post or until further orders, whichever is the earliest.”
Looks like a case of overlapping decisions taken in haste.