Pradhan uneasy after IAS officer attacks govt

Vol 20, PW 23 (10 Aug 17) People & Policy

On a recent trip to Gandhinagar, Dharmendra Pradhan was visibly upset after senior IAS officer Rajeev Kapoor openly criticised the government's petrochemicals policy in his presence.

In India, normally reserved IAS civil service officers rarely speak their mind in public. But Kapoor, who took over as secretary in the department of chemicals and petrochemicals in June, did not hold back while delivering the inaugural address at the 6th Petrochemical Conclave 2017 organised at the Mahatma Mandir conference centre on July 29 by the oil ministry and IndianOil.

As Pradhan and chemicals and petrochemicals minister Mansukh Mandaviya watched on tensely, Kapoor sharply criticised the "failure" of the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) Policy rolled out in 2007 to develop huge petrochemical hubs at Dahej in Gujarat, Paradip in Orissa, Vizag and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh and Cuddalore and Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu. "Except for some development at Dahej nothing much has happened at other PCPIRs," said Kapoor.

"We need to put our heads together to see what must be done. The government is discussing a revision in the PCPIR policy." After Kapoor's speech, journalists rushed to meet Pradhan and asked: "What changes are you making in the PCPIR policy and when?" Pradhan glared from behind his rimless spectacles and said nothing before handing the microphone to Mandaviya, who was caught off guard.

"You people (journalists) always want to know everything in advance," he complained.