Dilli Ka Babu: Whose move?

Questions have already been raised about the absence of RBI governor Urjit Patel in this whole exercise.

Two weeks into the demonetisation drive, few in Dilli have any clarity on who among the babus were consulted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before banning the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Though there is buzz in babudom that the demonetisation decision was not thought out properly, understandably no one is willing to stick their neck out and say it. Discretion is clearly the better part of valour in the babu lexicon. If the prevailing confusion after the demonetisation continues, some fear that they may be held responsible for it.

Further, long-time observers are also wondering why only economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das seems to be interacting with the media while the rest of his colleagues in the finance ministry are not in the picture at all. Questions have already been raised about the absence of RBI governor Urjit Patel in this whole exercise. Even babus are wondering why other senior babus like finance secretary Ashok Lavasa and financial services secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal among others are not being seen. Any thoughts?

A crucial babu

Babus in Haryana are not pleased with the decision of the state government to re-employ retired IAS officer M.L. Kaushik to the same post he retired from early this May. Though Mr Kaushik’s re-employment is for three months, the decision has not gone down well with several babus. Mr Kaushik, who is an officer of the 2001 batch promoted from the state civil service, is back in his old post as director of secondary education and, sources say, he will also be project director of the state education authority. Apparently, many of his peers are upset that a retired babu has been given charge of two cadre posts.

Sources said though extension has been given to some chief secretaries — P.K. Gupta (two months), P.K. Chaudhary (six months) and Shakuntala Jakhu (two months) — it is for the first time that an IAS officer has been given re-employment and posted on a cadre post more than five months after his retirement. In an extension, an IAS officer retains that status while once he retires; he is no more a member of the service.

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