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ONGC mulls competitive financial packages for key staff

Pratim Ranjan Bose

Aim is to halt attrition of experienced personnel

Remedial measures
ONGC has made sufficient progress in its effort to create a separate career path for `specialists'.
It has decided to appoint an internationally reputed consultant to identify where the company was more prone to losing valuable human capital.

Kolkata , July 20

The Union Government is expected to discuss issues related to ONGC's appeal for a free hand to fix salaries at the ongoing Sixth Pay Commission deliberations. ONGC is joined by Oil India Ltd (OIL) in this effort. Both companies are facing flight of experienced personnel, especially geophysicists and drilling personnel, to lucrative offers from private sector exploration and production companies in the country and abroad.

ONGC has also made sufficient progress in its effort to create a separate career path for `specialists' to ensure faster career progression in terms of merit and by-passing the existing method where specialists were made to compete with the general cadre for career advancement on time-scale basis up to higher management levels.

The company has already prepared a detailed paper on the same and is expected to approach the board for clearance within the next two months.

ONGC sources told Business Line that a series of meetings and presentations have been held with the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) underlining the need for ONGC and OIL to break out of the existing public sector mould and offer competitive packages to its key employees.

"DPE explained to us that it is difficult to commit anything at this juncture as the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations are round the corner. However, they have asked us to prepare detailed proposals in this regard which will be placed before the Wage Commission," a senior ONGC official said.

As per the advice of the DPE, ONGC has also decided to appoint an internationally reputed consultant to submit a report identifying the streams or departments where the company was more prone to lose valuable human capital, and suggest remedies. "We have already shortlisted a number of consultants and would take a decision in this regard shortly," the official said.

It may be mentioned that an international consultant currently working with ONGC for improved recovery in ageing fields had recently expressed concern over the flight of experienced geophysicists and drillers from the company.

While admitting that that the number of professionals quitting key disciplines has "doubled", company sources allayed fears that this would affect E&P activities.

"We still have a pool of 1,200 drillers with us," the official said.

Related Stories:
Wage issue: Oil officers threaten strike
ONGC worried over exodus of specialists

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