Mr. Saurabh Chandra superannuated as Secretary in the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas to the Government of India, after working for about 37 years in the Indian Administrative Service(IAS)
He was a member of the 1978 Batch of the IAS, and belonged to the Uttar Pradesh Cadre.
Mr. Chandra holds a degree in Electrical Engineering (First class with distinction) from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur.
In his diverse career spanning 37 years, he has held several prestigious positions, both in the Government of India(GOI) and the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
Mr. Chandra has served for about 16 years in key economic ministries in GOI. The other key positions held by him during this period were Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Director in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
In the Government of Uttar Pradesh, his key assignments were Principal Secretary to the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Secretary to the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Divisional Commissioner of Lucknow and Varanasi Division, and District Magistrate of Varanasi.
His vast experience in policy formulation and implementation is demonstrated by a long record of successful outcomes in multiple areas and sectors like oil and gas, industry, disinvestment, foreign direct investment, intellectual property, and successful execution of large-scale projects. He has received State Awards and President’s Medal for Census operations. The arrangements made during his tenure as District Magistrate, Varanasi for Kalachakra Initiation at Sarnath in 1991, were termed by his Holiness the Dalai Lama as ‘One of the best I have observed so far.’
During his tenure as Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India, major reforms to substantially reduce the subsidy outgo through Diesel Deregulation, PAHAL and Give Up schemes were introduced. Diesel deregulation stands out as a single decision, without comparison, to have had a significant sustainable, beneficial impact on the fiscal. PAHAL is the largest cash transfer scheme in the world and finds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. As a result of implementation of PAHAL, 4.49 crore dummy LPG connections were weeded out. The Give Up campaign has saved an outgo of Rs.71,301 crore from the Central exchequer. Major policy decisions having far-reaching impacts such as boosting the City Gas Distribution network, establishment of a National Gas Grid increasing the availability of LPG to the marginal sections of the society were also taken during this period.
In his earlier tenures, Mr. Chandra been associated with the formulation and implementation of the National Manufacturing Policy, preparation of the White Paper on Disinvestment, launching and activation of the National Investment Fund, ushering of reforms in the FDI policy which included Single Brand Retail Trading, opening up the multi-brand retail and civil aviation sectors to foreign investment, operationalizing the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Project and setting up of the very successful overseas Oman India Fertilizer Project.
Mr Chandra is currently serving as the Chairman and Public Interest Director of Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (MCX) and is an Independent Director on the Boards of J.K. Cement Ltd., Vacmet India Ltd. and SBI Pension Funds Pvt. Ltd.,
At present, Mr. Chandra is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the School of Medical Research and Technology (SMRT), IIT Kanpur and Special Invitee to the Governing Body of the Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He delivers lectures, renders advice in his areas of specialisation and comments on policy issues.
In the past, Mr. Chandra has served as the Chairman of various companies and organizations such as Petronet LNG Ltd., the Oil Industry Development Board, the Petroleum Conservation Research Association, and Governing Council of Centre for Higher Technology. He was on the boards of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., EXIM Bank, Madras Fertilizers Ltd., Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd., Hindustan Fertilizers Corporation Ltd., Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd., HMT Ltd., and the Asian Productivity Organisation. He has also been as an ex-officio member of Telecom Commission and National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council. Mr. Chandra was the first Chief Executive Officer of the National Investment Fund. As Managing Director of UP Small Industries Corporation Ltd. during 1988-1990, he was able to turn this loss making company into a profitable venture during a short period of two years.