The government on Tuesday appointed Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation managing director Ajai Seth as the new economic affairs secretary. He will replace Tarun Bajaj, who will be the new revenue secretary. Bajaj was holding additional charge of revenue secretary.
The latest bureaucratic reshuffle saw movement of eight secretaries and promotion of six additional secretaries to the post of special secretaries.
Seth is a 1987 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Karnataka cadre. According to the executive record-sheet, he is back in central posting after a gap of 13 years. His last posting was as advisor with Asian Development Bank in Manila (2004-08). Prior to that, he was director in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA). Besides heading the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation, he's served many roles in Karnataka, including commissioner of commercial taxes. He is scheduled to be in service till June 30, 2025.
As economic affairs secretary, Bajaj, a 1988-Haryana cadre senior officer, held additional charge of revenue after the superannuation of Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
An old hand at the finance ministry, he is expected to streamline the transformation of the goods and services tax and resolve challenges associated with it. Bajaj was brought into the finance ministry in 2020 for the third time, when India saw its worst growth contraction in history on account of the pandemic. By taking full-fledged charge of the revenue department, he is also expected to tackle a fiscal crisis which could resurface after the second wave of the pandemic. Earlier, he was additional secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The DEA under Bajaj worked on some major policies, including privatisation of public sector enterprises, which are expected to usher in radical changes in the functioning of state-run entities.
Among other new appointments, Gyanesh Kumar (1988 batch IAS officer of the Kerala cadre) will be the new parliamentary affairs secretary, while Ali Raza Rizvi will take charge as secretary in the Department of Public Enterprises.
Indevar Pandey (1988 batch IAS officer of the West Bengal cadre) will be new secretary in the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.