The untouchable Singh

…by the way
The untouchable Singh
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is facing a peculiar problem. It is small ministry but its spread and grip is nationwide. With meagre resources on hand, three public sector undertaking under its umbrella, it has one Cabinet Minister and two Ministers of State. C P Joshi the firebrand member of Parliament from Rajasthan, has a tight grip on the Ministry. As a result, the two Ministers of State – Dr Tushar A Chaudhary and Sarvey Sathyanarayana – are only figurative heads, who literally have any work on hand, barring the routine signing of files in the Ministry. The de facto boss of the Ministry is R P Singh, Chairman, National Highway Authority of India. It is the biggest PSU under the Ministry and all work related to national highways is routed through the NHAI. Singh, a retired IAS officer of the 1974 batch of the Andhra Pradesh cadre has a full grip on NHAI’s finances as he had served as the Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab & Sind Bank and Union Industry Secretary. He is the biggest votary of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the transportation sector. Apart from all these qualities, Singh has a direct connection with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. So in this scenario, most officials in the Ministry are scared to seek favours from him. Even Joshi realises the connections that Singh has. Though both have cordial relations but there is still a formal working atmosphere between the two. Joshi, a smart Minister, does not meddle with Singh. This can only happen when one has access to the top, leaving even ministers to just walk the talk. READ MORE…

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gfiles is the country's first independent magazine written, designed and produced for India's civil services—the vast and formidable network of bureaucracies and public sector organisations that provides continuity and stability to this nation's governance.
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