Amid the ongoing confrontation between the Arvind Kejriwal government and the Centre over the appointment of the VAT commissioner, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday appointed senior IAS officer Sajjan Singh Yadav to the post.
The name of Yadav, a 1995 batch IAS officer, was recommended by chief minister Kejriwal on Monday evening, which was cleared by the L-G Secretariat within hours, sources said.
“L-G has accorded approval to the CM’s proposal of appointing SS Yadav as new VAT commissioner and Keshav Chandra as CEO of Delhi Jal Board since both the officers fulfil the required criteria of seniority,” an official said.
The L-G office had earlier shot down the proposal of AAP government to appoint 2003batch IAS officer Ankur Garg as VAT commissioner, saying that he was ‘junior’ to hold the key post. Jung had asked the city government to name another IAS officer who fits the bill as per the appointment ‘rules’.
The appointment of a new VAT commissioner was necessitated after Jung issued a relieving order, following orders from MHA, to former VAT department chief Vijay Kumar who was asked to join his new assignment in Lakshadweep.
Sources said Yadav’s name was suggested after much deliberation and after ‘ensuring’ that he could have a long tenure as VAT Commissioner. “Amid the prevailing circumstances, there is no guarantee which officer could be transferred out of Delhi. Yadav is also attached as secretary in the chief minister’s office. As per convention, officials attached with CM office are not tinkered with. So there are chances of a long tenure being secured for Yadav as VAT commissioner,” a source said.
Ya d av, wh o wo u l d t a ke charge of his new assignment on Wednesday, was also the CEO of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) besides being secretary of Delhi government’s department of information and publicity. tourism secretary Keshav Chandra, also a 1995 batch IAS officer, will replace Yadav as the new DJB CEO, besides holding additional charge of tourism, sources said.
The appointment of VAT chief had become a bone of contention between the city government and the L-G, prompting the AAP dispensation to accuse the central government of transferring Kumar under “pressure of lobbyists” against whom Kumar had taken action for tax evasion.
Sisodia had written to the L-G accusing him of “unlawfully” shooting down the government’s proposal of Garg’s appointment.