Saturday, July 25, 2009

The good life!

If you happen to go on the New B.E.L Road at a certain time in the morning and a certain time in the evening, you see a long convoy of over 200 light blue buses carrying employees of a Public Funds Sponging Unlimited (PSU) from around that area. Each employee has a seat and the buses will move like synchronized dancers turning and changing lanes in tandem till they split into smaller convoys and move into different parts of the city. The drivers of these buses (which I am told number more then 300) are also PSU employees. This PSU apparently makes a profit. But like someone in the know told us, it due to the fact that the powers that be I has made it mandatory for all other PSU’s to buy this PSU’s products and that includes our space programmers!

The employees of this PSU do not have much work and they use the free time doing small businesses of their own. They sign in the morning and leave for their respective homes or private businesses and come back in the evening to sign out. Many of them are small scale entrepreneurs in their own right. The ladies do knitting and other miscellaneous work if they are free…which is most of the time. To keep this elaborate machinery ticking, I am told a lot of the so called “profit” of the PSU is used up. This is a very cleverly camouflaged operation and has been going on for a long time.

Let me not even get into the other benefits they enjoy like free medical care and the number of ancillary services employed by this PSU like doctors, club attendants, sports field staff etc. It is a picture of absolute bliss and contentment.

I cannot think of a more attractive job in the country right now. Employment News here I come. I hear they have lost of seat to fill up as old employees retire making way for new people to come and avail the benefits.

I suddenly wanna serve my country real bad!


Jacob said...

Thank you for posting. Been waiting for awhile now!

~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~ said...

Excuse me! Not all PSU employees are like that. It is due to those few who make it a habit to portray the PSU's in a bad light that all the people in the country think the PSU's are just a waste of resources. I worked in a PSU and not all of the people in the company were like that. There are people who WORK. Who believe that they ARE serving their nation with their work. It is due to these few that India launches rockets, India has a great telecom network, good number of Indians get electricity and so on.

PS: It comes as a joke when i get to see this on the blog of someone who works in a office that works for some other country's progress and doesn't care two hoots about what the average Indian does to earn his living!

scorpiogenius said...

hmmm.. lotta white elephants exist to gobble down the taxpayer's money. Very few PSU's work in a professional manner and with a good intention and motivation. A good majority, like the one in your article, are just social malignancies.

Kerala State Road Transpost Corp is a great example!

Anonymous said...

The PSU's are a drain on the public purse. They bleed crores of rupees of people who work hard for their money and impoverish the entire country. High time they were abolished!

Manu said...

Interesting synopsis to your post. Adding you to my blogroll!

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

Our government is too big. Lots of areas need to be privatised. Critically banking and life insurance I think.

More fundamentally,

The problem is that in government reward is independent of merit/performance - be it salary or promotion, and this problem is compounded by job security. As our government always parades the 'for the people' charade and hence won't dispose of job security and reward merit, the only way to really gain efficiency and actually do something for the people is through privatization. Things won't go overboard just because of privatization(like it happened with US in the recent collapse) if government takes on the job of strict regulation.

flowergirl said...

Well even higher on the pecking order is the government employee isn't it?!

And taxpayer money at that.

Anonymous said...

Your views, your opinion and according to your T&Cs we readers are supposed to respect them. Yet, if you respect your readers' opinions too then think twice before posting things like this. A lot of them from my generation were fed, clothed and sheltered only because the government gave our parents an opportunity to serve. Not everyone was lucky enough to go to the 'gelf' , serve the Arabs and have a good life. This is heights of generalization. I've been to many PSUs and seen them functioning, including the one you've quoted above. I see those people from BEL everyday, who work day and night. Since, you quoted the buses in the example, just have a look inside the buses too during a 'certain time' in the noon when many employees return after their night shifts. Every single person would be found dozing off coz they're jobless isn't it? Also, if I'm right they've a punching system for entry and exit of employees each time even if its going out for lunch. Tax-payers' money you say? Don't the employees of these PSUs pay taxes? If they have access to all these benefits, there is an equivalent deduction from their salaries too. As much as you're opinionated, please feel responsible and accountable for the type of posts you publish in a blog as well read as yours.

Smriti said...

Even thought I hate to admit it, you are right! My father retired from this PSU and he more or less agreed with this post except for some points.

silverine said...

Jacob: Work is sort of eating into my blogging time. What to do! :p

Abhi: It’s great to hear that some of you work! Where I am employed (as I am not lucky to get a cushy PSU job) I do 'productive' work and the ROI for employing me is justifiable for my employer who pay substantial amount of taxes themselves to the Indian exchequer not to mention the vast amounts to social work. That’s the vital difference. The average Indian is better off due to companies like mine because that is where the majority of Indians get work in case you did not know!

Scorpiogenius: 'Malignancy' was the word of the day!

Anon: Agree with you!

Manu: Thanks!

Karthik: So true especially the last line!

Flowergirl: The new royalty! ;)

Anon: “A well read blog” you say? Doesn’t that tell you something? All my posts are in the same vein as this post. So if people still read then you have just put your foot in the mouth. Bon apetit! :p Any job will feed, clothe and shelter you. But if a job needs the precious money of tax payers to keep it going then there is something wrong with it.

Smrti: I have a lot of relations in PSU’s. So I know a lot of what happens there.

Thomas Jay Cubb said...

If the PSU is profitable (how exactly is immaterial actually), there's nothing wrong, is there?

Should the employees waste their time because there is no work to do? THAT would be criminal.

It's a win-win situation. Why should it always be win-lose or lose-lose? Back to the Garden Of Eden!

(I am not being sarcastic)

Actually this is true for most white-collar jobs.

Let me know when you join this PSU! ;)

phoenikhs said...

Why are comments disabled in the 'What's in a brand name' post? I had a few interesting examples on the same.

silverine said...

Thomas: :D Criminal indeed!

phoenikhs: Please do share your anecdotes here. I would be very interested in reading it. :)

phoenikhs said...

I do not mind sharing them here. But they would look irrelevant here. And just because words can't bite the hand that types, doesn't mean we throw them around carelessly. ;)

Merill said...

The government has no business to be in business. Its business is to govern the country and its law and order. The importance of complete PSU disinvestment cannot be stressed enough!

silverine said...

Phoenikhs: Fine!

Meril: Well said!

phoenikhs said...


Jeseem said...

silverline going in one of those PSU busses with her cellphone, notes, purse, charger...
that will be a site worth seeing.

Yes PSU jobs are easy. however whether they will be there after 10 yrs is anyone's guess ( india moves slow, but it does move)

and quite frankly working in such environments will be a bore .. no pressure .. no excitement and no internet

Mrs. Alex said...

Hi! I've been reading both your blogs for many years now. Have enjoyed them a lot. There have been times when I disagreed with your views but frankly never bothered to comment. But this post makes me want to. You guessed it... I work for a PSU:) I'm a typical Engg+MBA grad who atypically preferred a PSU job to some MNC. My company is very small (about 300+) and is an NBFC dedicated to the power sector. It is the smallest Navratna. We get no preferential treatment from the government but compete directly against banking giants like SBI, LIC etc. We have the additional responsibility of being the nodal agency for many schemes introduced by the government to provide a thrust to the sector. Our profits per employee are almost Rs.6 Crores. I take home something like 10 lakhs a year. My friends from B-school (2005 batch) easily make 18-20 lakhs. But I have job security (that has become relevant again today) and the satisfaction of doing my small bit for the nation.
I agree that the same is not true for many other PSUs but being in the system I can appreciate how difficult it is for these mammoth organizations to bring about change considering the red-tapism that exists. But it is happening. Technology and highly skilled manpower is being used to cut the workforce to a tenth. Every effort is being made to increase transparency. The strong fundamentals of these companies have seen these companies doing very well in the capital markets. There is no denying that PSUs are the pillars of our economy.
I hope this doesn’t sound like a rant. I don’t blog myself but have lately read a lot (blogs & newspaper articles) about how we don’t deserve the kind of money we make. Just wanted to say “I DO” 