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In a first, govt gives 2-year extension to Railway Board Chairman A K Mital

The order for his extension came in the afternoon from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: July 29, 2016 7:31:54 pm

In a move that has taken the rail bureaucracy by surprise, the NDA government on Friday gave a two-year extension to Railway Board Chairman A K Mital, a first for the national transporter.

Mital was to retire end of the month. Effectively Friday would have been his last working day. But the order for his extension came in the afternoon from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Incidentally Mital’s retirement function was planned at 4.30 in Rail Bhawan as per a circular issued earlier this week. With his extension Mital, a 1978-batch Indian Railway Stores Service Officer, will become the longest serving chairman of the transport behemoth surpassing FC Badhwar, the first ever chairman who served for 42 months.

Mital would serve for a combined 43 moths. Mital chose not to comment on the development. ” No comments from my side, please,” Mital simply told The Indian Express.

Interestingly, by the time Mital completes his term in July 2018, all the present Board members would have retired. At least two of them were in contention for the top job. However, the rules that govern the top-level appointments in Railways like that of Divisional Railway Manager, General Manager and Board Members, are slated to be overhauled. The PMO and the ACC are in the process of considering the changes. Sources said pending finalisation of the new norms, the government gave the benefit of its discretion to the incumbent who is also the senior-most.

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