Government Looking To Fill Economic Affairs Secretary's Post As Incumbent Unwell: Report

Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth is said to be unwell
Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth is said to be unwell

The Union Finance Ministry is reportedly looking for a new secretary for the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) as Ajay Seth, the 1987-batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer who currently holds this charge, has been detected with a serious illness.

Mr Seth is undergoing treatment. The government has given a temporary charge of the DEA to Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj till the end of this month.

Sources said Mr Seth is not likely to be back in the office by April 30. Seth, who was appointed Secretary DEA last year is admitted to a hospital in Delhi after a late diagnosis of a serious illness.

In an order issued late on April 12, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet said it approved an additional charge of the post to Tarun Bajaj, Revenue Secretary with immediate effect till April 30 during the period of absence on leave of Ajay Seth.

Prior to Ajay Seth, Mr Bajaj was serving as DEA Secretary till April 2021 after he was shifted as Secretary Revenue last year in April on the appointment of Ajay Seth as Secretary DEA.

Sources said that Mr Seth is unwilling to continue as Secretary DEA due to the illness.

The government has, therefore, started looking for a full-time Secretary, DEA. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister on April 6, 2021 appointed Seth as the new Economic Affairs Secretary.

Ajay Seth is also the central government nominee on the board of the Reserve Bank of India.

Mr Seth previously held charge as Managing Director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited.

In his previous stint at the Finance Ministry, Mr Seth served as Deputy Secretary and Director in the Department of Expenditure and Department of Economic Affairs between 2000 and 2004. He also served as an adviser to the executive director of the Asian Development Bank during 2004-2008.

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