Major shake-up: Garg shifted to Power, Atanu new DEA Secy (Second Lead)

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, the government has shifted the current Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg to the Power Ministry, among others. Atanu Chakraborty, the current Secretary for Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) will be the next Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs.

The changes would come into effect immediately.

Garg, who was also the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, will replace Ajay Kumar Bhalla as the Power Secretary, an official notification said. Bhalla has been appointed as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

This change is seen as a relegation for Garg, as the designation of Finance Secretary is one of the most coveted in the bureaucratic circles and usually goes to the senior most official in the ministry.

The move, however, should not be surprising as this is not the first time the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has made such major changes.

In 2014, after the Modi-led government took charge for the first time, government transferred the then Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram to the tourism department.

With Garg out of the Finance Ministry, the government will now have to choose between the current revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey and financial services secretary Rajiv Kumar to be given the position of the finance secretary. Interestingly, both the officers are seniormost in the ministry joining the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) on August 21, 1984. However, Kumar is senior to Pandey on age. Government will decide on this while appointing the next finance secretary.

As per the Wednesday evening order, the next DIPAM Secretary will be Anil Kumar Khachi. He is a 1986 batch IAS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre.

Another major appointment was that of Anshu Prakash, the Additional Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), as the Secretary of the deparment. He would take charge July 31 after the superannuation of the current DoT secretary Aruna Sundararajan.

Further, the cabinet committee on appointments also approved the appointment of Guruprasad Mohapatra, the current Chairman, Airports Authority of India as the Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

R.S. Shukla has been appointed the Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs against the existing vacancy, the notification said. Also, Anuradha Mitra has been appointed secretary (department of official languages) in the home ministry while Ravi Kapoor has been appointed textiles secretary.

Two more secretaries were appointed by the government including Atul Chaturvedi as secretary, animal husbandry and dairy and P.D. Vaghela as pharmaceuticals secretary.

The government also upgraded 11 oficials to the level of special secretary in the rank and pay of secretary to Government of India. These include Anil Kumar Jain who has been promoted from additional secretarty in environment ministry to special secretary in the same ministry.

In other upgradations, S.P. Parihar, chairman, Central Pollution Control Board and Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi, director general of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has been upgraded to the rank to the rank of secretary in the same position.

Additional secretaries Ravi Mittal and Pramod Kumar Das in the finance ministry have been made special secetaries for the departments of financial services and expenditure respectively.

In all, the government announced 24 elevated and upgraded appointments on Wednesday. This comes just two days after the government appointed and elevated 33 officers in the joint secretary rank. The change of governments often sees large scale bureacratic reshuffle and this has played even this time round.

--IANS

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