The reshuffle in the finance ministry, which started with the swapping of the revenue secretary and expenditure secretary portfolios on Sunday, might be extended to officers in other ranks as well.
While some restructuring would be carried out by the finance minister’s office, a few officials might voluntarily move to other ministries or assignments. Thomas Mathew, joint secretary (capital markets) in the Department of Economic Affairs, is expected to move to Rashtrapati Bhawan to replace Barun Mitra. Mathew is a 1983-batch Indian Administrative Officer (IAS) from the Kerala cadre.
The finance ministry is abuzz with rumours Additional Secretary Bimal Julka is likely to move to the Ministry of External Affairs. In a restructuring exercise by the new finance minister, Julka has been stripped of the key portfolios he was handling and left with the charge of multilateral institutions. Julka is a 1979-batch IAS officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre.
The portfolios of Prabodh Saxena, joint secretary handling administration and bilaterals, and Rajesh Khullar, joint secretary handling infrastructure and investment, have been swapped.
The finance ministry would also have to find a replacement for Venu Rajamony, an Indian Foreign Services officer, who moved to Rashtrapati Bhawan as press secretary earlier this month. In the ministry, he was joint secretary in charge of multilateral institutions.
A few other joint secretaries in the revenue department, instrumental in pushing contentious proposals, would be moved out of the finance ministry. Reallocation of work might also be carried out among members in the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Central Board of Excise & Customs.
Meanwhile, R S Gujral and Sumit Bose today assumed charge as Expenditure Secretary and Revenue Secretary, respectively. The swapping of their portfolios came as a surprise to everyone in the ministry. While speculation of Gujral being moved out of finance were doing the rounds in the last few weeks, officials were not able to figure what purpose an interchange of portfolios would serve.