Retired bureaucrat Suresh Kumar, who was handpicked by Capt Amarinder Singh as his chief principal secretary immediately after taking over as the Punjab CM, has taken the driver’s seat in running the government.
An officer of repute, Kumar, who has 35 years of experience in development, infrastructure and agriculture sectors, will be closely involved in decisionmaking at the top level as per the standing orders of the Punjab CM, issued three days ago. Kumar had retired last year from the rank of additional chief secretary.
He has been allotted the key departments, including home affairs, jails, vigilance, personnel, industries and commerce, investment promotion, finance and planning, information and public relations, administrative reforms and information technology, governance reforms, and parliamentary affairs.
Other than the departments allotted to him, he will also deal in the matters concerning the council of ministers, including cabinet memoranda, transfer of heads of the departments, the communication with the Centre, matters requiring change in legislation, and the inter-department issues.
Suresh Kumar will chair the first meeting of all the officers posted with the CMO, on Thursday.
CM’s principal secretary Tejveer Singh will deal with departments of power, housing, agriculture, education, health local government, revenue, employment and defence services welfare. He will also deal with the work of legislators’ cell and general section of the CMO.
All the officers in the CMO, including special principal secretary to the CM Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, his deputy principal secretary Amrit Kaur Gill, officer of special duty (OSD) Gurinder Singh Sodhi and OSD-cm-secretary to the chief minister MP Singh, have been asked to prepare shadow notes of all the proposal and official matters that will come up for CM’s consideration.
Gurkirat Kirpal has been allotted departments of civil aviation, elections, excise and taxation, food and civil supplies, cooperation, transport, social security, rural development, water supply and sanitation, irrigation removal of grievances and welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes.
Gill will deal with the departments of sports, NRI affairs, science and technology, legal and legislative affairs, forests and wildlife, welfare of freedom fighter and welfare of pensioners. She will also be responsible for upkeep of the CMO.
MP Singh will handle the communication and correspondence of the CM and also prepare list of his daily engagements in consultation with Suresh Kumar.
He will deal with the issues related to departments of general administration and hospitality.