Rajiv Mehrishi to Replace Mayaram as Finance Secretary
NEW DELHI: Rajiv Mehrishi, a 1978 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS officer is the new finance secretary. A man known for his free market reforms, Mehrishi, the present chief secretary of Rajasthan replaces the present incumbent, Arvind Mayaram who is also from the same cadre and batch. Mayaram has now been transferred to tourism ministry as its secretary.
In all, 20 new appointments were made on Wednesday, one-third of them being at the Secretary level.
This is the first major secretary-level shuffle by the Narendra Modi-government after it assumed office in May.
Mayaram, considered close to the erstwhile finance minister P Chidambaram, was senior most among the four secretaries in the Ministry of Finance with dual roles as finance and economic affairs secretary, was appointed by the previous government and has one-full year before he retires on October 31, 2015.
Mehrishi retires in August-end and will have just about 10 months at Ministry of Finance, he would possibly anchor Modi government first full budget as the last one was a vote on accounts.
As chief secretary, Mehrishi has worked closely with Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and has won accolades for introducing some of India’s most radical labour reforms in Rajasthan.
Also considered close to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Mehrishi has been called in to handle the fast moving reform pitch unveiled by the Modi government to pull India out from the infamous ‘policy paralysis’ that had set in the last four years of the UPA government.
Before being called back to Rajastha by Raje, the 59-year-old bureaucrat served at the Centre in the Overseas Indian Affairs ministry till last year. Most of Mehrishi’s assignments have been in economic ministries.
An alumnus of St Xaviers School Jaipur, Mehrishi graduated from Delhi’s St Stephen’s college. He is also an MBA from the UK.
The Ministry of Finance has four secretaries - Economic Affairs, Expenditure, Revenue and Financial Services. The senior most among the four is designated Finance Secretary and is in bureaucratic parlance called ‘first among equals’.
Secretaries in the finance ministry formulate and carry out policy, besides helping to craft the annual budget in close association with the minister and advisers.
At present, 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.
Mayaram’s will replace India’s tourism man Parvez Dewan on his retirement at the month end.