With finance secretary RS Gujral set to retire at the month end,Ratan P Watal,secretary,ministry of new and renewable energy is all set to take his place in the expenditure department of North Block.
A 1978 batch IAS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre,Watal has been appointed as officer on special duty in the department of expenditure and will later take over as expenditure secretary. Gujral is set to retire on November 30.
Directing the department of expenditure to seek Cabinet approval for creation of the post of officer on special duty (OSD) in the department,the Appointments Committee of Cabinet has also approved appointment of Ratan P Watal as Secretary,Department of Expenditure,Ministry of Finance vice RS Gujral,on his retirement on 30.11.2013.
Watal will be taking charge as OSD in the expenditure department with immediate effect,it further said.
Revenue secretary Sumit Bose is likely to be the new finance secretary. The position of finance secretary,who is seen as the first amongst equals in all five secretaries in North Block,tends to be given to the senior most of the five top officials. The finance secretary is responsible for coordination between all the departments.
Bose is an IAS officer of 1976 batch of the Madhya Pradesh cadre and is senior to his other colleagues. While department of economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram belongs to the 1978 batch of the IAS,financial services secretary Rajiv Takru and disinvestment secretary Ravi Mathur are both from the 1979 batch.
Watals appointment is the first in a series of high level changes that are set to take place in the finance ministry over the next few months.