IN A HURRY
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