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Did IFCI chief hide vital facts?

Did Atul Kumar Rai, CEO and managing director of IFCI, conceal facts and mislead the government in disclosure statements before taking up the post of a whole-time director in the public financial institution? Documents available with Hindustan Times show he did.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2011 21:40 IST
Vivek Sinha

Did Atul Kumar Rai, CEO and managing director of IFCI, conceal facts and mislead the government in disclosure statements before taking up the post of a whole-time director in the public financial institution? Documents available with Hindustan Times show he did.

Rai became CEO and MD of IFCI in July 2007, a month after he was appointed whole-time director immediately on retirement from government service.

Rai signed a declaration — dated May 31, 2007— stating that he had not been privy to sensitive or strategic information or was in any way associated with IFCI before 2007 during the last three years of service as a director in the finance ministry’s banking division in the department of economic affairs. Documents accessed by HT, however, show otherwise.

He attended and signed minutes of the board meetings between 2002 and 2006 that discussed several sensitive matters including the debt-restructuring plan of the government and a proposed merger with Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Rai did not respond to emails or text messages sent to his mobile phone by HT.

Government rules say that if a Class A Central Services Officer desires to take up any commercial employment immediately after leaving a government job, permission must be sought from the government.

He needs to disclose exhaustive details about positions and responsibilities held during the government tenure.

The person must also not be privy to any sensitive or strategic information in the last three years of service which is directly related to the areas of interest that he proposes to join.

Rai, an officer of the Indian Economic Service, however, chose to sign his declaration on a plain paper, instead of making his career disclosures on the prescribed Form 25.

Rai was director (industrial finance) in the finance ministry’s department of financial services before joining IFCI.

Namo Narain Meena, Minister of State for Finance, in a response to Lok Sabha MP Ashok Kumar Rawat acknowledged that Rai was privy to sensitive matters of IFCI.

“I have been informed that during his tenure in the department of financial services, Rai had dealt with matters pertaining to IFCI requiring government interface.,” Meena told Rawat in the letter dated May 19, 2010. He also said Rai had been a nominee director on IFIC between 2005 and 2007.