A K Bhattacharya: Three finance secretaries in 15 months | Business Standard Column

A K Bhattacharya: Three finance secretaries in 15 months | Business Standard Column

My VIEW:

This refers to the article “Three Finance Secretaries in Fifteen Months”
(September 2). Allow me to divert a little from the focus of the article.
Succession plans for top level in government, statutory bodies and PSUs
should get more attention.


It is important to ensure longer tenures at the
top, say ranging from 3 to 10 years, where necessary by making age relaxations.
Time was, when ministries and government departments could depend on middle
level personnel for continuity in thinking and policy evolution. But,
post-liberalisation and emergence of IT as a lucrative employer, lower level
government jobs have not been attracting talent and this has affected the
working of government departments. This makes top level efficiency and
continuity crucial.
At this stage of development, induction of external talent depending on
needs, at various levels in government departments and public sector
organisations which have to handle a variety of specialised work requiring
different skills, may be necessary, though should not be made a regular
feature. For government with constraints including those about compensation and
need for transparency in procedures, it becomes all the more tough to fill top
level vacancies with competent incumbents.
In the present scenario, government should consider formalising
maintenance of ‘Talent Pools’ for different specialised jobs, from atomic
research to field level studies for improving agriculture practices, which
could be accessed by organisations in public and private sectors and government
in times of need. While procedures and processes are unavoidable, maintenance
of such talent pools for different disciplines will give an idea as to who can
compete/aspire


for what position.



M G
Warrier,
Mumbai

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