For over five months now, ONGC has had no representative on the board of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd — a company in which it owns a 51.11 per cent stake since January 2018.
HPCL for over one-and-a-half years — between January 2018 and August 2019 — did not recognise ONGC as its promoter. It relented only after a rap from market regulator Sebi.
Officials said since then ONGC appointed one of its directors as the nominee director. Its last nominee director was Alka Mittal, director (HR) who was appointed to the HPCL board in April 2021.
In January this year, Mittal was given additional charge as chairman and MD of the ONGC. And following past practice of the company that chairman could only sit on the board of a subsidiary in the capacity as chairman and not as a director, Mittal resigned from the board of HPCL and another director was nominated.
Mittal also sent her resignation from the HPCL board to the petroleum ministry.
The ministry however rejected the resignation and asked Mittal to continue on the HPCL board for “strategic reasons”.
ONGC thereafter approached HPCL for reinstatement but the company said it wanted written instructions from the ministry.