Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey was on Tuesday designated Finance Secretary, the position conventionally accorded to the senior-most among the five secretaries of the Finance Ministry.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved designating Pandey, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre, as finance secretary, following the superannuation of Rajiv Kumar, financial services secretary, last month.
Atanu Chakraborty, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, is at present secretary, Department of Economic Affairs. Tuhin Kant Pandey, a 1987 batch IAS officer of the Odisha cadre, is secretary of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management. His batchmate from Tamil Nadu cadre, T V Somanathan is secretary, Department of Expenditure. Debasish Panda, also from the same batch, is financial services secretary.
Pandey has been at the helm of significant reforms such as the sharp reduction in corporate tax rate, introduction of faceless e-assessment, Document Identification Number (DIN) system and measures to bring down litigation in tax matters. Under his watch, the government has sought to put higher burden of taxes on top earners while providing relief to taxpayers at the bottom. Pandey, an electrical engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and Phd in Computer Science from University of Minnesota, is of the view that recent decisions by the government, including the option of choosing a tax rate, will help in laying the foundation of a simple tax regime with minimal exemptions, which will benefit both the taxpayers and the tax department.
At present, he also holds the position of chairman of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN). Pandey has earlier served as the UIDAI CEO. At UIDAI, he was instrumental in bringing in Aadhaar and its linkage to government subsidies.
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