Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia will be retiring on November 30, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley confirmed on Saturday. During his four-year stint, Adhia spearheaded the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) besides implementing a host of laws to unearth black money.
In a Facebook post, ‘Dr. Hasmukh Adhia retires’, Jaitley showered praises on Adhia and said, “He was unquestionably a highly competent, disciplined, no-nonsense civil servant and of course, with impeccable integrity. His only diversion from his duties was his passion for spirituality and yoga.”
He further said Adhia will be remembered for providing bureaucratic leadership in shaping and implementation of various policies.
“As Secretary, Financial Services, Dr. Adhia showed his leadership in implementation of various social security programmes of the government through banking services. His contributions in successfully accomplishing the Mudra Yojana has been laudable,” he wrote. Jaitley said the government wanted to use the capability and experience of the outgoing finance secretary in some alternate capacity.
“He (Adhia) had informed me earlier this year that he would not work for a single day after the 30th of November 2018. His time thereafter belongs to his favourite passion and of course his son,” Jaitley wrote.
A Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), 1981-batch, Adhia moved to Delhi as the secretary in the Department of Financial Services after Narendra Modi was elected as the Prime Minister in 2014.
Recalling the approval of the “historic constitutional amendment” on the GST, Jaitley said, “It was his (Adhia’s) efforts supported by his team of officers of centre and state governments, which made it possible to hit the deadline of 1st July 2017. Rate reductions and smoothening of the rough edges were also achieved in a record time.”
In Adhia’s tenure as revenue secretary, tax base and tax realisation too saw an “exponential increase”, Jaitley said.
He said the campaign against black money both within and outside the country was the initial highlight of the revenue department, which Adhia spearheaded with full dedication. “The Income Tax department now functions online with no physical interface between the assessee and the assessment official,” he said.
“He was ably supported by the two boards, CBDT and CBIC. The follow-up after demonetisation in detecting the large cash depositors and making them accountable was no mean challenge,” the finance minister wrote.
Jaitley wished him the best for his post-retirement life.