Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ex-UP IAS Sanjeev Ahluwalia asks for taxing bureaucrats’ perks; bats for better pay to top babus

DAYS after the government’s announcement that it would soon set up the 7th Pay Commission for revising the bureaucrats’ pay, a former IAS officer of UP cadre Sanjeev S Ahluwalia has called for taxing perks including house, furniture, house help, official car, telephone etc. enjoyed by the bureaucrats. In a blog post titled “Babunomics for Rahul”, Ahluwalia, who is incidentally the brother of deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, has asked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to…
make a pre-poll promise that if re-elected, the Congress would “link babu compensation to merit and performance so that they deliver more than they receive”.
Ahluwalia, who was joint secretary in finance ministry’s disinvestment department and has been with the World Bank for the last eight years, has argued that “unlike the poor, babus earn more if they waste more”. As bureaucrats’ pay hike is linked to inflation, there is a tendency to waste more and get benefits. “This can change if babu pay is indexed instead to economic growth. Freeze the aggregate wage bill of government at the existing level creating a fiscal envelop within which babus of different groups (civilians, army, technical etc.) can bargain with each other for their share of the aggregate wage bill. If babus want a higher share of GNI as pay, they will have to first grow the economy and only thereafter take a part of that that growth as their share,” he wrote in his blog OpinionIndia (
Ahluwalia has a Masters in economic policy management from the Columbia University, New York. A graduate in history from St. Stephen’s college, he is also an MBA from Delhi University’s Faculty of Management Studies (FMS).
In his suggestions, Ahluwalia advocated for more payout to the top bureaucrats at the cost of “less productive bottom feeders”. He acknowledges that it would not be liked by the Communists and Congress old guards but “endear Rahul to the young professional community and there are at least 100 million of them”.
He says top bureaucrats in government should earn at least 15 times more than the lowest paid ones, as opposed to the current 11 times.
Ahluwalia said reforming bureaucracy is an opportunity for Rahul Gandhi “to astound us with a second outburst”, obviously referring to Congress vice-president’s dramatic intervention to stop the government’s ordinance to save convicted politicians. “Time is running out. Modi is watching,” Ahluwalia cautions Gandhi.
In an earlier post, Ahluwalia asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resign and ask him to be a babu again. He reminded PM of former bureaucrats TN Seshan and former RBI governor D Subba Rao who honoured the high constitutional positions that they had held.
“We (bureaucrats) sup with anyone who parties in the evening, but come the morning, we do the “right” thing, no matter what the consequences. There are thousands of babus who do this for 35 long years of their working lives and are none the worse for it. Please shed your intellectual robes and become the babu you have been,” Ahluwalia advised PM Singh.


  1. If bureaucrats' perks are taxed, what about politicians?

    1. Private sector employees do not have any perks except free lunch and the occasional party, why should bureaucrats and politicians have perks ?

  2. what makes him think that RG would come to power? it is surprising that the DoPT has not asked him to resign for making outrageous remarks about the PM. at least a disciplinary action.