In another bureaucratic reshuffle involving more than 25 officers, the government on Monday moved out financial services secretary Gurdial Singh Sandhu and replaced him with Gujarat cadre officer Hasmukh Adhia.
A 1981-batch IAS officer, Adhia is Gujarat government’s additional chief secretary handling the financial services department and was principal secretary to Gujarat chief minister – Narendra Modi -- from May 2004 to May 2006.
Sandhu, who had been appointed to the finance ministry by the UPA government in March, was named chairman, National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention (NACWC) at the cabinet secretariat, an official statement said.
Sandhu’s transfer leaves expenditure secretary RP Watal as the only UPA appointee in the finance ministry.
Sandhu is the third secretary in the ministry of finance who has been transferred. Earlier, revenue secretary Rajiv Takru and economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram were removed from the ministry. All three, Takru, Mayaram and Sandhu, were appointed during the UPA regime.
In bureaucratic circles, the NACWC’ chairman’s post is considered a part-time job, given that there is a not a lot to do.
It is not clear if Sandhu – like his predecessor – will also head the performance management division that oversees performance of 72 central departments.
The other officers affected by Monday’s reshuffle are at the level of joint secretary including V Shashank Shekhar (home ministry), M Devraj (department of personnel and training), Mukesh Jain (disability affairs) and Harish Chand Agarwal (UIDAI).
Besides, the government also upgraded 26 IAS officers of the 1981 batch -- posted as additional secretaries at the Centre and empanelled to hold secretary-level positions -- as special secretaries.