Rajiv Mehrishi replaces L C Goyal as home secretary; finance ministry gets a new look

The government on Tuesday removed L C Goyal as union home secretary and replaced him with finance secretary Rajiv Mehrishi who has already turned 60, the age of superannuation.

Goyal, who is widely perceived as an official who is out of tune with the ways of the government, offered to take voluntary retirement, but finally opted to continue as chairman of Indian Trade Promotion Organisation, a government-backed body that organises trade fairs.

Mehrishi is being succeeded by R Wattal as finance secretary.

Goyal as secretary in the home ministry is alleged to have cleared files involving important policy matters without keeping Rajnath Singh in the loop. He is also reported to have failed to carry along fellow officers, leading at least a couple of them to petitions to the home minister.

In another case, he "single-handedly wrecked" the understanding that Singh and I&B minister Arun Jaitley had reached to sort out differences between their respective ministries.

His penchant for getting into micro details was also held against him, with the political leadership taking the view that the "near-obsession with technicalities" kept him from getting the larger picture and from finding solutions.

Goyal was appointed home secretary in February after his predecessor Anil Goswami allegedly intercede with the CBI for a Shardha scam accused, and given that the home secretary has a tenure of two years, would have remained in the saddle until February 2017.

Besides Goswami and Goyal, former foreign secretary Sujatha Singh was another officer holding a position with a supposedly two year-tenure who did not get to complete her term under the Modi government.

Meanwhile, Anjuly Chib Duggal took over as secretary, department of financial services, here yesterday afternoon. She succeeded Hasmukh Adhia who, in turn, has taken over as revenue secretary in the same ministry.

Before taking over as secretary, department of financial services, Duggal was holding the charge of secretary, ministry of corporate affairs. She had earlier worked in different capacities including special secretary, additional secretary and joint secretary in the department of expenditure of the finance ministry.

Hasmukh Adhia took over as the revenue secretary. Earlier Adhia was holding the charge of secretary, department of financial services (DFS) in the finance ministry. He had also earlier worked as the finance secretary in his cadre in Gujarat.

Shaktikanta Das has taken over charge as secretary, department of economic affairs. Das was earlier holding the assignment of secretary, Department of Revenue. Das had earlier worked in the department of economic affairs as additional secretary as well as joint secretary.

Shaktikanta Das today held a meeting with the senior officers of the department and reviewed the status of various issues being dealt in the department.