Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily has managed to have the final say in deciding the new Petroleum Secretary. Based on his choice, sent on Monday, the Prime Minister has approved the name of Saurabh Chandra as the replacement for Vivek Rae who superannuates at the end of this month.
Chandra is a 1978-batch officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre.
He is currently serving as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
Last week, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth declined to appoint any of the three IAS officers earlier suggested by Moily and foisted Rajan S Katoch — Director of the Enforcement Directorate — as Rae’s successor. This peeved Moily who had gone with Seth’s selection of Rae in January 2013.
Last Monday, Moily wrote to Seth saying he had re-evaluated the credentials of the possible candidates and identified Chandra as the best option. Chandra’s name had not figured in Moily’s first list of three IAS officers — Amitabh Kant, Satyanarayan Mohanty and Rakesh Singh — but was pushed when the Cabinet Secretariat prepared an evaluation sheet giving one reason or another for turning down the first three.