Wednesday, May 21, 2014

S Narsing Rao’s Gamble: To quit as Coal India CMD to become Telangana chief minister KCR's key aide

AFTER joining as CMD of Coal India (CIL) in June 2012, this 1986 batch IAS – S Narsing Rao surprised many by resigning the elite IAS service to get absorbed in the Maharatna PSU. Now, Rao is set to quit Coal India as he is likely to take up his new assignment: Principal secretary to Telangana’s first chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao. By the way, both the Raos hail from the same area in the state called…
Medak, also the constituency of the CM-in-waiting of the newly created state of Telangana. Coal India’s Rao is set to take up his new role on June 2.
Rao was selected to head Coal India after a fiercely competitive selection process which also considered candidature of other veteran IAS officers including Nandita Chatterjee (1980 batch), RS Kahlon (1984 batch), Sudhir Kumar (1982 batch) and Sreemat Pandey (1984 batch). “Never before the chairman’s post of a government-run company has wooed so many prominent IAS. Why This Coalaveri Di?” BoI’s post on February 6, 2012 quipped.
Rao, who had worked as portfolio manager in UN Office for Project Services for six years between 1999 and 2005, was also responsible for turning around Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) when he had headed that public sector company. His interventions in addressing trade unionism in the company made him a high performer.
Many say, Rao is a no non-sense CMD in Coal India too, and his quitting the job means the public sector behemoth with a workforce of over 3.5 lakh, second only to Indian Railways, will become headless once more. A joint secretary or an additional secretary level officer of coal ministry is likely to be given additional responsibility for the CMD’s post. Before Rao assumed charge, 1979 batch IAS and then then additional secretary of coal ministry Zohra Chatterji handled the PSU as its part-time CMD.
Already, investors are in jitters. On Tuesday, Coal India’s share witnessed a sharp 5.9 per cent drop to Rs 366.70 on the BSE.

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