IN A HURRY

Business Today - - CONTENTS - – Joe C Mathew

Slash­ing of cool­ing off pe­riod af­ter re­tire­ment raises sev­eral is­sues

FOR­MER SBI chief Arund­hati Bhat­tacharya’s join­ing the RIL board can’t tech­ni­cally be faulted. She’d com­pleted the manda­tory one-year ‘cool­ing off’. For­mer for­eign sec­re­tary S Jais­hankar’s ‘cool­ing off’ was waived al­low­ing him to join Tata Sons. Post re­tire­ment jobs are mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial – bu­reau­crats’ are paid much higher than they're used to, and the cor­po­rate world gains from their ex­pe­ri­ence. An ethics flag is a risk th­ese as­sign­ments al­ways run for pos­si­ble con­flict of in­ter­est, or even quid pro quos. To pre- empt this the gov­ern­ment had stip­u­lated a two-year ‘cool­ing off’ pe­riod for such ap­point­ments, sub­se­quently slashed by half. Of­fi­cials re­tir­ing from plum posts should re­mem­ber that with less over­sight comes more re­spon­si­bil­ity.

For­mer SBI chief Arund­hati Bhat­tacharya

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