Insight Online News
New Delhi, Nov 26 : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday issued a quick rejoinder to Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj who suggested that more women in the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) should apply for getting departmental awards and recognition.
The Minister and the Secretary were attending the investiture ceremony of CBIC in Lucknow, where officers were felicitated for winning the President’s certificate of appreciation.
Addressing the winners and the audience, Bajaj said that more women should apply for such awards that invited rebuttal from his boss, much to the audience’s amusement.
Speaking at the ceremony, Bajaj said that his wish is more women get the award in years to come.
“I personally feel women in today’s world have no handicap viz-a-viz men. In fact, in many cases they can perform better than men. I encourage the ladies of the service to apply for this award and we will see what happens this year and next year,” said while referring to the current system of officers applying for the award.
But as soon as his boss and FM Sitharaman’s turn came to address the officers she advised women to not apply for the awards!
The Minister chose to set the record straight, correcting Bajaj that the system should identify women and not the other way round.
“Was it him who said that I am so happy that lots of ladies are also getting the award but the process is you apply yourself and that is also accepted. So more ladies should also apply. Did you say that..?” Sitharaman asked while looking towards Bajaj.
“I strongly suggest, ladies don’t apply. What is that? Ladies also please apply. Don’t. I think the mechanism should be such that even without a woman saying that this is what she has done it, you should have seen it already. How many of them are there? How many of them are there that you have to.. from inundated number, you need them to apply, and then for you to see and then for you scan and then for you to.. no way,” she said on a lighter note.
She said further, “Honestly, men do apply, please. But women don’t apply and let’s see how many years will pass without even one getting an award. I challenge the system. I challenge the system I am part of.”