The appointments committee of the cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi has approved designating expenditure secretary in the finance ministry T.V. Somanathan as finance secretary, according to a notification put out by the department of personnel and training on Wednesday.
The post of finance secretary is mostly a ceremonial one and the senior most secretary among the four secretaries in the finance ministry is designated as the finance secretary. After senior-most officer in the finance ministry revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey retired from his post in February, nobody had been designated as the finance secretary.
Among the four secretaries, though Somanathan, disinvestment secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey, banking secretary Debasish Panda and economic affairs secretary Ajay Seth belong to the same 1987 batch of Indian Administrative Service, Somanathan is the senior most bureaucrat. Revenue secretary Tarun Bajaj is a civil servant of 1988 carde.
Asked about the camaraderie among the 1987 batchmates in the finance ministry, Pandey speaking at the Mint India Investment Summit on Wednesday said: “We do have excellent rapport. We are able to sort out our internal things.”
Somanathan was appointed as the expenditure secretary in December 2019 before which he was serving as a principal secretary in his home carde Tamil Nadu. Earlier, he has served as a joint secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Somanathan was awarded the Gold Medal for the Best IAS trainee of his cohort. He holds a Ph.D in Economics from Calcutta University and is a chartered accountant, chartered management accountant and chartered secretary.