New FinMin Team Will Need Change After One Budget

New Delhi, October 23: | Updated: Oct 24 2002, 05:30am hrs
For the second time in four months, finance minister Jaswant Singh has got a new A-team in place. The appointment of Mr CS Rao as the new revenue secretary and Mr DC Gupta as secretary expenditure was announced on Wednesday.

But this new group, comprising finance secretary S Narayan, chief economic advisor Ashok Lahiri, Mr Rao and Mr Gupta will be there only for one Budget. Two key members of the team, Mr Narayan and Mr Rao, will retire next year soon after Budget 2003. Consequently, the finance minister will have to find himself a new-look team for his second Budget.

In this respect, Mr Singh will only be following the footsteps of his predecessor Mr Yashwant Sinha. Mr Sinha had a different finance secretary Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Dr Vijay Kelkar, Mr Ajit Kumar and Mr CM Vasudev for each Budget he presented in Parliament.

Mr Gupta was presently secretary (banking and insurance) and Mr Rao was expenditure secretary. The situation arose on account of the poor health of revenue secretary Ajay Vikram Singh. Mr Singh, who had to be moved out to a lighter charge in the ministry of non-conventional energy as secretary.

In a series of important transfers and upgrades, the appointments committee of the Cabinet placed Ms Vineeta Rai, special secretary, Department of Urban Development, as secretary (banking and insurance). The committee also approved the appointment of Mr GC Srivastava, presently chairman of the Tariff Commission, as secretary of the Twelfth Finance Commission. His tenure will be co-terminus with the tenure of TFC, even though he superannuates next year. Mr VK Agnihotri will take over as chairman of the Tariff Commission.

Mr SP Arya has been appointed as adviser in the Planning Commission in the rank and pay of a secretary. Mr VK Duggal, presently director-general tourism, as been appointed as special secretary, ministry of environment and forests.

Mr SS Blowria, director enforcement, has been promoted in the rank of a secretary. He will continue in his present post.

Mr Prasnna K Hota, presently vice-chairman, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), has been appointed as additional secretary in the Department of Urban Development. Mr Subhash Sharma has been appointed as vice-chairman of DDA.

Mr Priyadarshi Thakur, presently managing director Nafed, has been appointed as additional secretary and financial adviser in the ministry of external affairs. Mr Baleshwar Rai has been appointed as additional secretary, ministry of labour.

Mr Satwant Reddy has been appointed as additional secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs. Ms Gouri Chatterjee has been appointed as managing director Nafed in the rank and pay of additional secretary. Mr Sudhir Mankad has been appointed as joint secretary and financial adviser, ministry of road transport and highways.