PMO: Somanathan’s repatriation still arouses curiosity

Over a month has passed when Dr. T V Somanathan (IAS:1987:TN) moved from the PMO to his cadre state of Tamil Nadu. But speculations are still alive as to the reason of his repatriation. It may be noted that he had replaced his batch-mate B V R Subramanyam (IAS:CG:1987) in March 2015.

There are several theories. One of them suggests that neither the PMO desired for Dr. Somanathan’s repatriation nor did Dr Somanathan desire to quit the PMO. It is believed that for ‘personal’ reasons, he wanted to be present in his home state (Tamil Nadu).

There are many who find it oversimplification of reasons for his repatriation. To them it’s hard to believe that an IAS officer of Dr. Somnathan’s capability chose to move out of the PMO in a short period of 28 months. It may be underlined that Dr. Somanathan was on June 13 this year empanelled to hold the Additional Secretary rank post. Was this the reason for his repatriation that there was no further room for Dr Somanathan’s elevation as Additional Secretary in PMO as already there were two additional secretaries namely; Tarun Bajaj (IAS:1988:BH) and Arvind Kumar Sharma (IAS:1988:GJ).

Dr. Somanathan (IAS:1987:TN) is known as an encyclopedia of finance & capital market and had been handling finance and capital markets as a Joint Secretary. In recognition of his experience in World Bank and a doctorate in economics (commodity futures), the NaMo administration had once thought of giving him the responsibility of Chairman, Forwards Markets Commission (FMC), the commodity markets regulator. But somehow that didn’t happen. Informed officials say that the PM relied on his views on matters related to finance & capital market.

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