SC Garg seeks VRS after transfer to power ministry

Subhash Chandra Garg

Subhash Chandra Garg, economic affairs and finance secretary, has sought voluntary retirement from the government, sources in his office said Thursday.

His decision came after he was transferred to a relatively low profile power ministry late Wednesday evening.

Garg has yet not reported for his new assignment in the power ministry. He was appointed as power secretary in Wednesday’s reshuffle.

Garg, 58, a 1983 batch IAS officer has been working as the economic affairs secretary since 2017.

A Rajasthan cadre IAS officer, Garg was actively involved in seeking a larger pie for the government from the Reserve Bank Bank of India’s excess capital reserves. It was due to his dissents that a committee headed by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan could not submit his report late last month. Garg wanted to secure the transfer of RBI surplus at one go.

RBI has about Rs 9 lakh crore of surplus capital that the government wants to deploy for more “productive purposes”.

Garg’s transfer has come at a time when the finance ministry is facing an allround attack for a Budget proposal to seek dollar loans from foreign countries, The government of India has so far not borrowed directly from international bond market.

Garg was vociferously pursuing this idea even though it was opposed by quite a few within the government. He was the senior most among the five secretaries in the finance ministry and was appointed finance secretary in March this year.

Garg did not respond to repeated phone calls made to him.

Along with Garg, 23 other IAS officers had been transferred to various ministries and departments and given new responsibilities.

Sources in Prime Minister’s Office said Garg’s resignation has not been accepted till now.

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