New Delhi (Agencies): Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy has cleared appointment of two independent directors on the board of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), helping the state-owned firm meet its listing requirement ahead of its Rs 13,000-crore follow-on public offering next month.

"I have recommended appointment of two independent directors (on ONGC board). The appointment will be done by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet," he told reporters here.

ONGC has six functional directors, besides Chairman and Managing Director. It also has two government-appointed nominee directors taking the total strength to nine.

Against this, the company, at present, has four independent directors and needed five more to meet market regulator SEBI's listing norm of having equal number of executive and non-executive directors.

However, since ONGC is without a permanent Chairman and vacancies of Directors for Human Resources and Exploration have not been filled, the effective strength of full-time functional directors together with government-nominee directors was down to six.

The company is without a permanent Chairman and Managing Director since this month, following retirement of R S Sharma.

So is the case upon retirement of D K Pande as Director (Exploration). The post of Director (Human Resources) fell vacant in July last year when A K Balyan moved to Petronet LNG as Managing Director.

A K Hazarika, Director (Onshore) and the senior most on ONGC board, is officiating as Chairman and Managing Director.

Last month, the government had appointed Bank of America Corp, Nomura Holdings, HSBC Holdings Plc, JM Financial Services, Citigroup Inc and Morgan Stanley to handle the FPO.

Post offer, the government stake in ONGC would come down to 69.14 per cent from the current 74.14 per cent.

ONGC's FPO, through which the government plans to sell its 5 per cent stake to raise about Rs 13,000 crore, is going to hit the market on March 15.