In a surprise development, Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram has been shunted out of the Finance Ministry and shifted to the tourism ministry.
Rajasthan chief secretary Rajiv Mehrishi will replace Mayaram as the economic affairs secretary. Mehrishi, an IAS of the 1978 batch, was earlier appointed as the chief secretary of Rajasthan after the BJP government came to power in the state. During his stint, the state has initiated major labour reforms.
Mayaram’s transfer is part of the first major shuffle of top civil servants since Modi took office in May. In all, 20 senior officials were transfered, many at the level of secretary.
"The appointment committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Rajiv Maharshi as Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, vice Arvind Mayaram," an official statement said.
Mayaram, who had twin roles as both finance and economic affairs secretary, was appointed by the previous government.
Meanwhile, Anil Swarup has been posted to the coal ministry in a newly created post of officer on special duty.
Swarup, who headed the Project Monitoring Group (PMG) in the Cabinet Secretariat, has been appointed the coal Secretary. The appointment comes at a time when the coal ministry is in the process of implementing the Supreme Court order on coal block deallocation.
Swarup, of the UP cadre, was instrumental in clearing stalled projects as the head of PMG, created by the previous government to revive investments in the key sectors.
Presently, Ratan P Watal, a 1978 batch IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh is Expenditure Secretary while 1980-batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre Gurdial Singh Sandhu is the Financial Services Secretary. Shaktikanta Das, an IAS officer of 1980 batch from Tamil Nadu cadre, is Revenue Secretary.
According to the tradition, the senior most secretary becomes the finance secretary. However, both expenditure secretary Ratan Watal and Mehirishi are of the 1978 batch.