This refers to the interview with Haryana IAS officer, Ashok Khemka, (FE, August 19). Civil servants are supposed to maintain absolute integrity, allegiance to the constitution and the law, impartiality, transparency and devotion to duty in their functioning. They are public servants and their obligation is to protect interest of the people and the country. They are supposed to express their dissent on record if their political masters want an action in contravention of the law. Politicians have started treating civil servants like their handmaidens waiting to serve their political interests. The tragedy is that most of the bureaucrats crawl when asked to bend by their political masters instead of upholding the law and standing up for their fraternity when a member is victimised. They do this for personal benefits and convenience. This has encouraged the political masters to victimise honest and dutiful officers. Ashok Khemkas and Durga Shakti Nagpals are cases in point. Although all political parties have been critical of the ruling party in UP in the case of Nagpal, the fact remains that every party when in power victimises the straightforward civil servants who try to enforce the law when it clashes with the interests of the party. This is a very undesirable situation and needs remedial measures. Amendment in service rules of the civil servants is needed to provide them from victimisation by the politicians. There should be a minimum tenure for their posting and their transfers should not be solely in the hands of the ministers. This will help the civil servants in sincere discharge of their duties without fear of victimisation.
MC Joshi, Lucknow
Banks should avert NPAs
This refers to your editorial Bad loans ahead (FE, August 13). SBIs fresh slippage figure comes as a shocker. Some broad reasons for NPAs in banks include relaxed lending standards, aggressive selling of unsecured loans, legal issues, market failure, laxity in loan documents verification,lack of proper judgement of repaying capacities of customers, inadequate follow-up of the end use of sanctioned limits, absence of healthy lender-borrower-rapport, lack of initiative for compromise settlements. This list is only indicative, not exhaustive. All said and done, banks should try and avert NPAs rather than managing them. The rising trend of NPAs may lead to tightening of lending norms that would adversely impact genuine and disciplined borrowers in need of credit facilities from banks.
JS Broca, New Delhi