The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Buddha gains business, loses men

Calcutta, July 2: As it gets ready to welcome Reliance’s big bucks, the state government must also prepare to pay a small price.

It could lose a few of its brighter civil servants to the company that will pump in Rs 2,000 crore into Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s Bengal for an agri-retail business.

It has already lost one in Debashish Bose, a senior election official who took a two-year lien on June 30 to join Reliance as general manager, to co-ordinate the company’s agri-retail chain in the state.

Does the 1983 batch WBCS officer plan to return after two years'

“That depends on how I like the new job. Apart from the financial benefits, I think the agri-retail concept is an exciting one,” said Bose, who was officer on special duty at the state election chief’s office during the Assembly polls.

Bose wasn’t the only civil servant to leave for a better-paid job on Friday ' with him went labour commissioner Ravi Kant, who took voluntary retirement to join a construction company.

As the state’s industry scene brightens and investment starts arriving, bureaucrats are increasingly lured by the higher salaries and bigger challenges offered by the corporate sector. It reflects a trend seen also in other states, such as Delhi.

“In my new career I want to concentrate on my field,” said Kant, an IAS officer of the 1985 batch and a civil engineering graduate.

The Ramky Group of Companies, which he joined as vice-chairman and managing director yesterday, will pay him four times what the government did.

Kant says it isn’t just the money. “After globalisation, all major infrastructure projects have been in private hands. I want to be at the forefront of all this action.”

Bose’s colleague at the chief electoral officer’s office, Ashis Chakraborty, had left midway during the Assembly polls, on a two-year lien to join a private software firm.

“I’ve signed two release orders in two months. It’s a courageous decision on their part,” said state election chief Debashis Sen. Three bureaucrats leaving in two months is unusual ' the previous instance had come three years ago when IAS officer D.P. Patra joined MCC PTA India as joint MD.

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