India’s top competition regulator will retire today, but the government has not found a replacement for Vinod Dhall, who was both acting chairman and sole member of the Competition Commission of India . The ministry concerned is not enthused with the applicants. An official has said “...a lot of jokers have applied” and “that’s a bit disappointing”, referring to poor private sector response.
So, why should talented professionals apply? The interest is mainly from the government’s fold — senior babus will be resigned to poor pay and to doing time in bureaucratic harness. No rocket science, but the latest pay commission has made a sensible suggestion of higher pay. Yet, the current offer is roughly one-twelfth of the Rs3 lakh per month the pay panel had suggested. Even that may not attract the best in class for what is a very demanding job needing ample expertise to cope with increasing complexities in a cut-throat environment.
Take the Bank of England governor — his (huge) pay hike was advised by a professional HR firm. That Mervyn King refused it since he didn’t meet his inflation target is quite another matter.