gfiles magazine

March 9, 2012

Monkey business

humour mk kaw
Monkey business
t the peak of the budget fever, someone asked P K Kaul, former Cabinet Secretary, who had also been Finance Secretary, “Is it true that Finance Ministry officials are locked up in North Block for several days on budget duty?”
Kaul gave a serious reply, as befitted an ex-senior bureaucrat speaking on national television. Had I been there, I could not have resisted the temptation of referring to the monkey population of North Block. I do not think the process of budget preparation will be complete without elaborating upon their contribution.
Imagine a Deputy Secretary of the Tax Research Unit, totally engrossed in calculations of excise duty on tiny industries or whatever. He sips uncountable cups of coffee, while cogitating on the repercussions of this rate or that. Nature decrees that sooner or later, those Yamunas of hot beverage will be converted into something he will want to rid himself of. He gets up from his chair, still muttering to himself and proce.....readmore

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