Delhi finance secretary Shakti Sinha, who was former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s personal secretary, has sought voluntary retirement from services over “differences” on a number of policy issues in the power and finance sectors.
According to sources, Sinha — who is also the power secretary — said he had decided to quit government services to “do something now”.
Describing his stint in Delhi as “challenging”, the 1979-batch IAS officer said he now wanted to work outside the government.
“Differences of opinions are common at any workplace and I feel it is healthy. I’m not quitting because of any differences, but because I want to do something new,” said Sinha. “I want to focus my energy on issues such as economic policy and governance,” he added.
Sources in the government, however, said Sinha, who was overlooked for the post of chief secretary in December, wanted the government to adopt a “tough approach” while dealing with private power discoms and had opposed subsidy to the new set of power consumers.
Soon after the power tariff was hiked by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission on July 26, chief minister Sheila Dikshit, with an eye on the assembly polls in November, had announced subsidy for consumers whose consumption does not go beyond 400 units. Earlier, the subsidy was for consumers whose power use did not go beyond 200 units.
Sinha was Vajpayee’s private secretary between May 1996 and February 1998 and his joint secretary from March 1998 to November 1999.