A 1987 IAS officer from Tamil Nadu cadre, TV Somanathan, served as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office in 2015 after a stint at the World Bank. Somanathan, as finance secretary, has a tightrope walk to provide funds for growth while keeping an eye on budget targets.
AJAY SETH, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs
Ajay Seth, an IAS officer cadre from Karnataka in 1987, was appointed Economic Affairs Secretary in April last year when the country was badly hit by the second wave of the Covid 19 pandemic. Seth, who had managed the budget and resources and the commercial tax department in Karnataka, has a difficult task before it as the third wave has rattled the nascent recovery.
DEBASHISH PANDA, Secretary, Department of Financial Services
Debashish Panda, an IAS officer in 1987, helped lay the groundwork for next generation reforms in public sector financial institutions. Public sector banks have finally recovered and the next budget should provide further impetus. He was instrumental in setting up the bad bank and development finance institution.
TARUN BAJAJ, Secretary, Ministry of Revenue
Tarun Bajaj, a senior IAS officer from Haryana in 1988, served in the Prime Minister’s Office before joining the Ministry of Finance as Secretary for Economic Affairs. Bajaj, who joined the ministry during the first wave of the pandemic when the country was under partial lockdown, was one of the key officials who spearheaded Atmanirbhar Bharat’s relief programs.
TUHIN KANTA PANDEY, Secretary, Investment and Public Assets Management Department
A senior IAS officer from Odisha in 1987, Tuhin Kanta Pandey, spoke out on the privatization of Air India. With 17 more strategic sales planned and an asset monetization pipeline ready, he has an action-packed year ahead of him. Life Insurance Corporation’s mega listing is eagerly awaited not only by the government to meet its large spending needs, but also by the markets.