After remaining headless for nearly six months, the dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation — which oversees affairs of India’s largest infrastructure project — will shortly get a new chief. Following the unceremonious ouster of VK Kaul last October, the corporation has been without a managing director. RK Gupta, currently posted as chief administrative officer (construction) with the Northern Railways, is understood to be among the front-runners for the top job. Presently supervising work relating to the ambitious Kashmir-link project, Gupta will come with the reputation of an officer who delivers.
Moving heaven, earth and the ACC
There are various theories doing the rounds in Rail Bhawan over the possibilities of Vivek Sahai, Chairman, Railway Board (CRB) being able to stay on in the hot chair on an extension. One version is that Sahai’s proposal — moved on grounds that the CRB must have minimum two-year tenure — has been rejected by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC). The other view is that the case is not altogether lost for him, as Sahai is understood to have moved a second extension proposal — arguing that it was imperative for him to stay on to ensure completion of certain major projects!
Spending too much on civil service?
Does the civil service stand in the way of development?
Yes, if the Planning Commission is to be believed. The panel believes that state governments spend a huge amount
of their resources in paying salaries and allowances to
their staff, resulting in very little money left for expanding developmental programmes. With the sixth pay commission recommendations and high inflation, the expenses have increased at an annual rate
of over 8%, resulting in further squeeze on state government resources.
Practice before preaching: Property returns
The move to put property returns of government officers in the public domain might finally force the department of personnel and training (DoPT) to ensure that officers file their returns in the first place. It seems there are nearly 800 Central Secretariat Service officers who haven’t filed their property returns. There were many who hadn’t filed the returns last year, too, but the department never bothered. Concerned that it might be accused of not implementing the mandatory property returns rule, DoPT has already
sounded out other departments to get their officers to submit their returns. Ironically, the list of defaulting officers includes DoPT officers!