Unique Identification Authority of India CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey will succeed Hasmukh Adhia as revenue secretary. Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer, will retire on November 30. In August 2015, he was appointed revenue secretary and became finance secretary — the senior-most bureaucrat in the finance ministry — in November 2017.
Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer, moved to Delhi in November 2014 as the secretary in the Department of Financial Services after Narendra Modi became the prime minister. In August 2015, he was appointed as the revenue secretary and became finance secretary — the top most bureaucrat in the finance ministry — in November 2017.
Although Adhia was associated with a host of key government programmes such as Mudra Yojana, bank recapitalisation plan-Indradhanush, and other key social security schemes, his most important contribution is the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), the biggest tax reform since Independence. He was associated with framing of anti-black money laws. According to sources, Adhia did not seek extension or any post-retirement job, and as a yoga enthusiast, he is keen to pursue spirituality.
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post that Adhia performed his job with “professionalism” and “impeccable integrity”. Wishing Adhia all the best for his post retirement life, Jaitley said “he (Adhia) had informed me earlier this year that he would not work for a single day after the 30th of November 2018”. Adhia in a series of tweets thanked Modi and Jaitley for their guidance and leadership and expressed gratitude to his officers and staff. During his four years in the finance ministry, Adhia was involved in most of the flagship programmes of the government.
While Adhia was Financial Services Secretary, besides Mudra and Indradhanush, he played a key role in formulation of Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Scheme.
People associated with the GST’s implementation said it was because of Adhia’s perseverance that the GST Council could clear tax rates on over 1,200 items in a two-day meeting in Srinagar in May, 2017.
During his tenure in the finance ministry, Adhia was no stranger to controversies. He came under attack of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy who raised questions about the dominance of private companies in the GST Network (GSTN), the company providing the IT backbone for the GST. He was also criticised when he tried to take strict action against some powerful officers facing corruption allegations.