Finance minister P Chidambaram has decided to make top-level changes in North Block, bringing in two new faces to head key departments just a month before the Union Budget 2013-14.
Contrary to practice and expectations, financial services secretary DK Mittal will not be given an extension to complete the Budget-making process. Mittal will retire on January 31.
The 1977 batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre was also holding additional charge as secretary, department of disinvestment since December last year.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on Wednesday appointed Ravi Mathur, additional secretary in the ministry of labour and employment as secretary, department of disinvestment.
A 1979 batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, Mathur currently also holds additional charge of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation.
Meanwhile, Rajiv Takru, additional secretary and financial adviser, department of health and family welfare has been appointed as secretary, department of financial services, a government release said. A 1979 batch IAS officer Takru has also served earlier as CEO of Prasar Bharati and worked in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Mathur is expected to immediately take charge as secretary, department of disinvestment but Takru will take over as secretary, DFS at the month-end. However, he is tipped to join the finance ministry as Officer on Special Duty this month.
“Anyone joining the ministry at this juncture needs to familiarise himself with the work. So it would be good if he joins now,” a senior government official said.
Former LIC chief Vijayan likely to head IRDA
Former LIC chairman TS Vijayan is tipped to head the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority unless he faces problems in getting clearance from the Central Vigilance Commission. In such a case, petroleum secretary GC Chaturvedi and IT secretary R Chandrasekhar are the other two front runners for the Hyderabd-based regulator. As LIC chairman, Vijayan was probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation but was later cleared of all charges.