Key appointments likely in Finance Ministry

Tenures of Secretary and CBDT Chairman ending this month.

Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, a 1984 batch IAS officer of the Maharashtra cadre, is scheduled to superannuate this month while the extended tenure of PC Mody, Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), is also ending this month.

Officials and observers are watching whether the government would give an extension to them or appoint new officials in their place.

Mr. Pandey is Secretary, Department of Revenue in the Ministry, and by virtue of his seniority is designated as Secretary, Finance.

Normally, the Finance Secretary gets extension if his superannuation is scheduled during the Budget session of Parliament.

It is unclear whether the unwritten norm applies to him since the Budget has already been presented.

TV Somnathan, Expenditure Secretary in the Ministry, has lately emerged as the “go to man” given his formidable background in finance. He is understood to have played a significant role in the recently presented Budget which was praised for a number of reform measures and thrust on revival of the pandemic-battered economy.

Mr. Mody was given the extension in August 2020 for six months. The 1982 batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) Income Tax officer had taken over as the CBDT Chairman on February 15, 2019.

Before being elevated, he was the member-administration of CBDT, the apex policy making body of the I-T Department. He had succeeded Sushil Chandra, who was appointed as an Election Commissioner.

He was first granted a one-year extension in August 2019.

There are several vacancies in the top policy making body of the direct taxes.

According to sources, the government has already held two rounds of interviews of short-listed candidates to be appointed as members in the CBDT.

Insiders in the government confided that four IRS officials of the I-T cadre have been identified to be appointed as members in the CBDT and their formal orders are likely to be issued soon.

Source: Read Full Article