Mr Nayen Kumar Balllah

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It probably came as much as a shock to you as everyone else that an obscure group of shareholders should suddenly start giving advice about on how to improve the State Bank’s finances and management. Du jamais vu. What a dastardly suggestion that you don’t have enough time to fill the Chairman’s role properly! They don’t seem to realise how lucky they are having such a leading figure at their helm, prepared for what’s more to sacrifice the little spare time he has to guiding the company. Given your studies, you’ll probably be muttering about winter winds and man’s ingratitude. It wouldn’t be surprising if a Dubai blogger were behind all this. Resigning might send the wrong message and, in any case, a dignified silence is much more appropriate. However, you may find it useful to have a few comments and suggestions, although without reference to what Athens did to officials subjected to criticism.

The obvious thing to do – so blindingly obvious that only troglodytes can’t see it – is to gradually sell off the government’s shareholding in the bank. For the last few years there’s been far too little private sector investment and this would provide a much-needed fillip. It would also mean the government could pay off some of the national debt. With fewer debt repayments, that would provide the cash needed to raise state pensions, the kind of fiscal responsibility the Italians are trying hard to emulate.

However, the greatest impediment to progress is the state of the civil and public services. There are a few honourable and hardworking men like yourself and it must be very frustrating for you to see the government’s programme hampered by the incompetence, inefficiency and corruptness of others. It’s like trying to drive a car with three flat tyres. Again, the solution is obvious. There could be a vast programme of privatisation with some shares reserved for hoi polloi – at long last the democratisation of the economy the ancien régime so often promised but never implemented. “Simples!” as a meerkat once said.

You stand out as an example of someone prepared to work hard, which is so important in a society where young good-for-nothings loiter in the streets dosing themselves on synthetic drugs. Obviously, it’s not their fault if they haven’t been born into the right families but they could at least proffer their services where they’ll be useful. French history is full of successful courtesans, some who came from almost nowhere. Or start planting cotomili – or even sage.

However, there are couple of things that are a bit puzzling. For a start, why do civil servants get paid for sitting on state boards when they’re already paid a salary? Or do they refund part of it for the time they spend on board matters? There’s also the absence of advertisement for SCE posts in the civil service. When the PRB recommended the creation of this new tier of posts, it quite clearly stated that this should be done. No doubt you’ll be looking into it.

It’s perfectly obvious why you sit on the board of the MRA, and indeed MDFP where you’ll be working out how to implement the idea of a dutyfree island. And being on the board of Air Mauritius means the government can save on the cost of air tickets when you need to travel. Multi Carrier is an equally obvious choice, although you must wonder why it isn’t hyphenated. Anyway, whatever’s said, it’s clear that you’re a typical example of the many fine citizens who serve their country without a thought for themselves. Instead of criticising, shareholders should think where the country would be without hardworking people like you.

Yours sincerely,
Epi PHRON

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