The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Petroleum siblings in row over staff seduction game

New Delhi, Aug. 10: In a clash between the country’s two oil giants, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has accused Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) of poaching its senior executives.

The matter has taken a serious turn with IOC bringing to the notice of the petroleum ministry that ONGC has started offering plum appointments to senior IOC executives.

The official rules state that staff from one public sector enterprise can apply for a job in another only after getting clearance from the organisation in which they are working.

IOC has, in a “confidential” communication, flung the rule-book at the ONGC top brass and taken strong exception to some of its senior executives being directly approached with job offers.

The letter has reminded ONGC that such applications for jobs can be entertained only if they have the prior consent of the IOC management. It expresses surprise that “not only have their applications been considered without raising any objection, but their candidature is being favourably considered for appointment.”

An indignant IOC management has gone to the extent of telling ONGC that officials who apply for jobs without its consent “can be charged with misconduct.”

With ONGC acquiring Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) and deciding to start marketing petroleum products, it is looking for managerial talent to run its downstream business. A key official who deals with crude imports also figures among the seven or eight IOC executives on ONGC’s list.

ONGC chairman Subir Raha is an old IOC hand and was a member of the company’s board of directors before he took up his current assignment. He is well acquainted with IOC executives and wants the pick of the bunch.

With expertise in the country’s hydrocarbon sector being the exclusive preserve of the blue-chip public sector companies, private companies such as Reliance and Essar have also been poaching on their staff.

A senior IOC executive told The Telegraph, “Although one can expect such an approach from private sector companies, it is surprising how a sister PSU can try and adopt such tactics which can destabilise another public sector enterprise.''

“These rules have been made in order to ensure the smooth functioning of all the public sector enterprises. While they allow for movement of personnel from one company to another, it should be done in a transparent and orderly manner,” he added.

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