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The Jaunty Step That Slipped
The moral of the story is, think twice before overstepping your lakshman rekha. Industries secretary B.N. Jha learnt this lesson the hard way, that too just four months prior to his retirement. The trouble: a stopover in Taiwan, sans mea clearance, during an official foreign jaunt. Jha has now been reverted to his parent cadre in Jharkhand from his high-profile posting in Delhi, reportedly after Prime Minister Vajpayee expressed displeasure over his transgression.
As former DG of the National Productivity Council (NPC) of India, he had been invited by Taiwan’s npc for a two-day meet. However, his tour programme, which included two other countries before Taiwan, was approved with the caveat that he should get clearance from the mea for the last leg of his trip. This he apparently failed to do, but he stopped over in Taiwan anyway. The matter ultimately found its way to the pmo, which did not show mercy despite his approaching superannuation. Jha has now applied for voluntary retirement.