The government will examine the relaxation in rules sought by several union ministers from the Prime Minister’s Office to give them freedom to appoint their own private secretaries (PS).
The PMO is likely to refer the issue to the Cabinet appointments committee, which outlines broad policy issues on appointments and placements in the Central government.
Government sources said the issue would be resolved this week and the ministers may be asked to submit names for a three-member panel after which the PMO will take a call on who can be appointed as PS.
Ministers like Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitaraman, Smriti Irani and Ravi Shankar Prasad wanted officers who had been private secretaries of ministers in the UPA government. However, they did not get permission to do so.
Social justice and empowerment minister Thawarchand Gehlot had sought the services of E Ramesh Kumar, a 1999-batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre as his PS. Kumar has joined work in the minister’s office and the state has given clearance for his deputation. However, orders for his appointment have not been issued as yet. “I don’t know the reason why the orders for Kumar’s appointment have not been issued despite the file bearing my approval,” said Gehlot.
Similarly, Nikunj Shrivastava, a 1998-batch IAS officer, who joined as PS to union steel minister Narendra Singh Tomar is yet to be relieved by the state government as no orders have come from the Centre. Ditto is the case with Vinay Nigam appointed as additional PS to water resources minister Uma Bharati.