FinMin relaxes norms for top jobs in govt banks | Business Standard

FinMin relaxes norms for top jobs in govt banks | Business Standard

The following comments were included in a response to the above report:

At the time of selection of the present SBI chairperson, Finance Ministry had faced the same problem of having only one eligible candidate to ‘select’ from. The formality of  selection procedure was complied with by relaxing the qualifying norms (relating to age and remaining period of service) and considering more candidates. Ultimately the candidate satisfying the norms without any relaxation was selected temporarily dodging a controversy. Now that the next vacancy is arising only in August 2014, authorities could have reviewed the eligibility norms for broad-basing the pool for selection keeping in view the need to ensure longer tenure for incumbants and infusing efficiency at the top.

There is another dimension to the story. The Indian industry, trade unions and the intelligentsia gives an impression that they are comfortable with a ‘weak’ decision-making infrastructure in governance, esecially in government, regulatory and supervisory bodies and public sector organisations, which can be influenced easily. The advantages are obvious:
·        Concessions ‘managed’ by India Inc. in the current Budget are estimated at over  Rs 5,73,000 crore which is 10 per cent higher than the total fiscal deficit of the Central government and would be, perhaps, adequate to provide for meeting the entire pension liability of Central government, as on date(According to a 2008 estimate, the net present value of the pension liabilities of central government now being met on a Pay As You Go basis was Rs 3,35,628 crore-6th Pay Commission Report,2008). If GOI had management experts who can bargain with India Inc. on a level playing field, a substantial portion of this amount of Rs5,73,000 crore would have flowed to the country’s treasury.
·        Democratic process and professionalism are bad words in politics and for trade unions which are, by and large, managed by political parties. Beyond some media gimmicks and occasional ‘stoppage of work’, there are no serious efforts from the side of trade unions to study issues and fight for solutions. Democratization of and infusing professionalism in trade union leadership can bring sea changes in the wages, prices and income policies of the country. Political leadership will resist this as the present dispensation is easy to manage and workers form the captive human resource for election work.
·        The intelligentsia who claim to be the spokespersons of public opinion and fill the media space, pretend to be ignorant of all these, as they, like old time teachers, do not have to do much homework, if the status quo continues.
·        Literacy improvement is kept in the back burner, consciously. Perhaps industrially developed states have lower positions in human development indicators including literacy. This could be a subject for research.
These are some stray issues, if debated and churned in a dispassionate manner, may take us to some changes in the approaches to governance, which could help us in viewing issues like poverty, healthcare, literacy, financial inclusion and generally economic development from a different perspective.




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