The government-appointed T V Somanathan as the new Expenditure Secretary, a post lying vacant since October, as part of a top-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected on Friday. Somanathan is a 1987-batch IAS officer serving in Tamil Nadu currently.
The post was lying vacant since October 29, when Girish Chandra Murmu relinquished it upon being named as the first Lieutenant Governor of the newly-created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Additional charge of the Department of Expenditure was given to Atanu Chakraborty, a 1985-batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, Secretary, Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry.
Somanathan’s appointment comes a month-and-a-half ahead of the Budget for 2020-21 — to be presented on February 1 — by the Modi government.
The Budget Estimates for 2020-21 are provisionally finalised after the Expenditure Secretary completes discussions with other secretaries and financial advisers.
In other appointments made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Ravi Mittal has been named the Information and Broadcasting Secretary in place of Amit Khare.
Mittal, a 1986-batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, is at present Special Secretary, Department of Financial Services.
Senior bureaucrat Sushil Kumar will be Secretary, Mines. He is currently Additional Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, and Secretary, Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
The Committee also approved the rank and pay of Secretary to Sanjay Kumar Mishra, Director, Enforcement Directorate. He is a 1984-batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax), the Personnel Ministry said.
Culture Secretary Arun Goel has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry in place of Asha Ram Sihag, who superannuates on December 31.
Kshatrapati Shivaji, Executive Director, Asian Development Bank, is now Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances. The 1986-batch Maharashtra cadre officer will also hold additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Pensions and Pensioners Welfare.
Higher education secy moved Amid JNU row
Higher Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam was transferred out of the HRD Ministry on Friday amidst an unrelenting protest by students of JNU against a hike in the hostel fee. The order came less than two hours before the officers-elect of the JNU Students Union (JNUSU) were scheduled to meet him for the third round of talks. The meeting was eventually called off.
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