Over the 22 months that Jaipal Reddy was in charge of the ministry of petroleum and natural gas at Shastri Bhavan, the “suits” – officials from cash-rich oil companies – had become a rare sight, causing much heartburn to denizens of the ministry. That’s because those visits almost invariably ended up in the canteen, run by snack food company Bikano — itself a rarity since most government offices have subsidised canteens. The Bikano canteen, too, was deserted because Reddy did not encourage corporate executives and middlemen to mill around the high-profile ministry. Now the suits, armed with bouquets, are back, so officials can look forward to more visits to the canteen.
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