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Dr Somanathan as the next DEA Secretary?

By IndianMandarins- 11 Feb 2020


Many senior officials in the Govt of India believe that Dr T V Somanathan’s (IAS:1987:TN) current assignment as Union Expenditure Secretary is an ad hoc arrangement which may culminate into a fresh assignment by April this year. Considered among a few bureaucrats having core competency in handling economy and finance very well.

No wonder, Somanathan is being seen as next DEA Secretary; a post which will fall vacant after the retirement of Dr Atanu Chakraborty (IAS:1985:GJ) April this year.

If some well-placed sources are to be believed during his tenure as Joint Secretary and later as Additional Secretary in PMO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to interact with him extensively and intensively on country’s economy. PM’s affinity for his competence was once underlined when Prime Minister did not miss to mark his presence at his daughter’s wedding in Chennai in November 2017. In his recent interview to a country’s leading business magazine, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram too underlined Somanathan’s competence in checking fiscal deficit and austerity measures.

Prior to his repatriation to cadre state of Tamil Nadu, he was shortlisted for RBI Deputy Governor post. Then it made buzz in power corridors that Somanathan disillusioned with his chance for RBI post and chose to repatriate. But all it proved to be wrong when PM himself visited Chennai to grace his daughter’s marriage. Having brought him back as Union Expenditure Secretary merely six weeks ahead of Union Budget, the NaMo administration appears to have reposed faith in his competence and important role in the Ministry of Finance.

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