Former finance secy Arvind Mayaram weighs in on SC Garg’s early retirement move
New Delhi: Former economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaramwho was replaced ahead of the budget-making process of the central government in October 2014 weighed in on the ongoing debate on finance and economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, seeking early retirement from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) after he was transferred to the power ministry.
Interestingly, both Mayaram and Garg belong to the Rajasthan cadre. Mayaram, who is from the 1978 batch was first shifted to the tourism ministry and later to the minority affairs ministry. He was replaced by Rajiv Mehrishi, then chief secretary of Rajasthan, an IAS officer also from the 1978 batch as the finance secretary.
“Several journos have asked me for my comments on resignation by Subhash Garg on transfer from finance to power ministry and why I did not chose to do so when I was moved out of finance. It is his personal decision and I respect it,” Mayaram tweeted on late Thursday night.
Garg’s transfer was part of a major bureaucratic reshuffle late on Wednesday. He was replaced by department of investment and public asset management secretary Atanu Chakraborty, a 1985 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer.
“For me, as civil servant I always acknowledged Govt’s authority to post me where it chose to and I felt it as part of my service requirement to give my 100% to where ever I was posted. I did not feel entitled to demand any position. Therefore, I did not think it right to resign,” Mayaram added in his tweet.
Garg is expected to serve as India’s power secretary for the next three months and is expected to take charge as power secretary today morning.
“After a long time such a high level bureaucrat has actually put in his papers for retirement after a transfer order has been issued,” said a senior serving secretary in the central government requesting anonymity.
Garg will take over responsibilities at the critical infrastructure ministry amid a crisis faced by distribution companies due to their poor financial health, leading to delays in payments to power generation utilities.
Power secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has been made the officer on special duty in the home ministry with immediate effect. He will take over from Rajiv Gauba as the home secretary, when he retires on 31 August. Bhalla will have a fixed two-year tenure as home secretary.
Garg took over as department of economic affairs secretary in 2017 and became the finance secretary in March this year. He is believed to be the architect of the budget proposal to raise $10 billion by selling sovereign bonds overseas for the first time, a move that has faced severe criticism from several experts, including former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan.
Garg had also joined issues with other members of the Bimal Jalan committee, set up to decide RBI’s economic capital framework, and had submitted a dissent note to the panel. Over the past year, Garg had differences with top central bank officials, including former governor Urjit Patel and his deputy Viral Acharya over the central bank’s autonomy.