Thursday, November 30, 2023

Monday Mirchi : All eyes on a heady position that is headless!

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Filling a coveted position is a taxing job, more so if there is a commercial angle to it! An interesting question was posed to Yours Truly by those eager to find out who is the Commercial Taxes Commissioner. Well, the department has been headless for quite some time. In sarkari style of course, the websites of the Telangana government, except one, still list Neetu Kumari Prasad as the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes.

For newbies, Neetu Kumari Prasad has been posted as Joint Secretary, Department of Fisheries, Government Of India with effect from 26 July 2023. While orders relieving Neetu Kumari Prasad of the post were issued, S Krishna Aditya was posted as Member Secretary, TS Pollution Control Board. Although many babus have since been angling for the post vacated by Neetu, there has been no word till date about who is going to helm the Commercial Taxes Department. That such a ‘fetching’ post is headless has become a hot topic of discussion among unabashedly ambitious babus.

Room with a vantage view, but…

The BRKR Bhavan, despite the hustle and bustle around it, has islands of soothing calm and serenity. One example is the office of the Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj. Ahead of the shift of the ad-hoc Secretariat to the new buildings, BRKR bhavan’s 9th floor was renovated for the Chief Secretary. Vikas Raj is presently using a cabin that is situated at a vantage point, offering a panoptic view of the Tank Bund, Martyrs’ Memorial, and the new Secretariat.

The larger question is: Why was the Chief Secretary not using this prized cabin with a view? Nonetheless, the 9th floor of BRKR Bhavan obviously did not work out for former CS Somesh Kumar. Luckily Santhi Kumari moved out to the new Secretariat. Hopefully, at least the CEO will get his due and space to conduct the upcoming elections smoothly without the hassles that visited his predecessor Rajat Kumar, who used to sit in the D block of the old Secretariat in 2018.

Has Janardhan Reddy had enough?

TSPSC chairman B Janardhan Reddy seems to be done and dusted with his post, beset as he is by trouble after trouble and wheels within wheels. A little bird told us that when he is hard-pressed by the ramifications of the leaks of TSPSC examination papers amid perceived shortage of staff, opposition parties are demanding his scalp. Janardhan Reddy seems to be upset about the latest twist to the paper leak case.

After paper leak, came Group-2 exams issues and now TSPSC Group1 exam has been cancelled again. He reportedly shared with his aides on whether he needs this headache now, and that too at a time when he stays overnight in office. There is a very serious discussion going on about his impending resignation. He is reportedly weighing various options as resignation now could send a wrong signal.

Silent, but accountable

There are people in the world who choose to adorn a castle with the stones you throw at them. Ronald Rose, as shrewd Commissioner of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, knows how to do the balancing act without hurting his political bosses.

The Commissioner is invisibly active on social media, acting on complaints and grouses quietly. Municipal administration per se is a thankless job and this IAS officer getting trolled if garbage is not lifted is nothing if one considers what all Minister KT Rama Rao faces from irate members of the public.A little bird told us that Ronald has taken a conscious decision not to reply to trolls, while remaining accountable in the background. In fact, a top official working under him remarked: “Working with this Commissioner is different and better”.

Babus under pressure for poll-related targets

Come elections, politicos fall back on their implemented promises and babus on the time and resources available for their implementation. It is expected that the Election Commission may announce the schedule of the Telangana Assembly elections in the first week of October. So, right now bureaucrats are facing the double whammy of meeting targets that reflect community benefits as well as benefits at the individual level well before the Model Code of conduct sets in.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has directed officials to complete the pending works by the end of this month. The Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues, during their visits to districts, give assurances to people. If those assurances are not implemented pronto, it will have a devastating effect on the ruling party in the elections.The babus must often make a difficult choice between individual benefits and community benefits. For, they don’t know which way the wind blows when their political masters are involved in election campaigns.

-Yours truly

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