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New DEA Secy Bajaj to be the bridge between PMO, FinMin and RBI

Tarun Bajaj, an IIM Ahmedabad graduate is a hands-on officer on economic and financial policies given that he earlier worked as joint secretary in the Finance Ministry

Nirbhay Kumar | April 27, 2020 | Updated 21:41 IST
New DEA Secy Bajaj to be the bridge between PMO, FinMin and RBI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Nirmala SItharaman and RBI Guvernor Shaktikanta Das

Key Highlights:

  • New DEA Secy Tarun Bajaj to give fillip to triangular co-ordination between PMO, FinMin and RBI
  • The 1988-batch officer is being seen as a bridge between Sebi and RBI also
  • Another PMO official AK Sharma appointed as Secretary in MSME ministry
  • AAI Chairman Arvind Singh and Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal given in-situ upgrade

Insiders believe the government's move to appoint senior IAS officer Tarun Bajaj as Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) will provide fillip to the triangular co-ordination among Prime Minister's Office (PMO), North Block and the RBI.

Tarun Bajaj would replace Atanu Chakraborty who is retiring this month-end.

Coming from the PMO, Bajaj enjoys the confidence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is being seen as a big advantage. But above all, the IIM Ahmedabad graduate is a hands-on officer on economic and financial policies given that he earlier worked as joint secretary in the Finance Ministry.

"Depending on how the relations (are) working between Sebi and North Block and Sebi and the RBI on the other hand, some kind of stabilisation is required. Financial market is today a lot more dependent on what Sebi does or does not do. We have seen this in what has happened in the debt market. I think he will provide a bridge between Sebi and RBI other than anything else," a senior bureaucrat told BusinessToday.In.

The 1988-batch Haryana cadre officer Bajaj is considered a very clear-headed person with high degree of initiatives which is required at this juncture in the financial and economic architecture.

As DEA secretary Bajaj would be on the central Board of RBI but senior bureaucrats said that he may not be able to push through much in the central bank as present Governor Shaktikanta Das (1980-batch) is himself a civil servant and many batches senior to him. Moreover, Das has a very good rapport with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. Further, they have already been working in coordination.

"In the IAS, unfortunately or fortunately, seniority is always very important and one carries it to the grave," a senior official said.

In a major reshuffle, the Modi government on Sunday cleared appointments of almost two dozen Secretaries besides giving in-situ promotion to 10 IAS officers. Among key postings, the government has named Gujarat cadre IAS officer AK Sharma to Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as Secretary.

The MSME sector has been in spotlight during the nationwide lockdown for its fragile finances and government is learnt to be working on a relief package for the crucial segment. A crucial cog in the PMO, Sharma along with his new boss Nitin Gadkari is set to steer the sector out of crisis.

Many industry players are hopeful of government support in paying salaries of workers and staff besides providing easier terms for working capital loans.

Among those given in-situ upgrade are current Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Arvind Singh and Air India Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Rajiv Bansal.

Also Read: Coronavirus India Live Updates: Delhi-Haryana border to be sealed; total COVID-19 cases in India reach 28,380

Also Read: Vaccine could be ready in 12 months, says Bill Gates; pledges 'total attention' to coronavirus

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