New Delhi: Chairman and Managing Director of Singareni Collieries Company (SCCL) S S Narsing Rao is likely to occupy the top post of world's largest coal producer Coal India within a week.
   
"Rao is likely to take the charge of Coal India CMD in a week's time. His appointment letter has been issued by the Coal Ministry on Wednesday," a top official in the Coal Ministry said.
   
The new chief will take over at a time when the mining monolith is battling problems including delays in regulatory clearances to enhance production, inability to meet growing demand from power sector and concerns by investors that it lacked leadership.
   
The top post has been lying vacant after former CMD Partha S Bhattacharyya retired on February 28, 2011. Soon after his retirement, the government had given additional charge of CMD to N C Jha, director technical.
   
After Jha's retirement on January 31, 2012, the charge was given to Zohra Chatterji, Additional Secretary, Coal Ministry.    

The Coal Ministry official said that the the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has recently approved appointment of Rao for the top post.
   
The Coal Ministry had sent the proposal for approval to ACC last month.
   
The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) had earlier recommended the name of Rao, a 1986-batch IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh Cadre and heading state-owned SCCL since 2006, to lead the PSU.
   
The search-cum-selection committee of PESB had interviewed 19 aspirants including heads of a clutch of state-run firms and CIL's Director (Personnel) R Mohan Das.
   
Concerned over the working of the CIL, the London-based The Children's Investment Fund Management, in a letter to Coal Ministry earlier this month had accused the management of the Maharatna firm of harming the public sector undertaking.
   
Attacking the CIL management for poor performance of the company, the fund had said, it "lacked the necessary leadership..." and demanded that the board and management to be swiftly changed."
   
Coal India accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic production and produced 435.84 million tonnes of coal in the just-concluded fiscal against a revised output target of 447 MT.


(Agencies)