Thursday, August 20, 2009

babuz no 4: Finance secretary Ashok Chawla is India’s fourth most powerful bureaucrat

HE IS one of the rare breed of senior officers in India who is a darling both to the Congress and the BJP leadership. Finance secretary Ashok Chawla, a 1973 batch IAS from Gujarat cadre, would have been equally powerful today, had the BJP come to power after the last general election. Yes, he is babuz no 4, or India’s fourth most powerful bureaucrat, according to feedback received by babu blogger from senior bureaucrats and politicians who have a direct knowledge about equations in Delhi’s power corridor. Former civil aviation secretary, who had earlier played a successful innings in North Block first as a an additional secretary and then as a special secretary in the ministry of finance, Mr Chawla returned to Finmin in September 2008 as a secretary of department of economic affairs (DEA) only to be elevated as finance secretary eight months later, leaving his batch-mate and revenue secretary P V Bhide behind. No wonder, Mr Chawla who is in full charge of the department of financial services which is now headed by an additional secretary level officer, was also given additional charge of the ministry of disinvestment for sometime. Significantly, Mr Chawla and urban development secretary M Ramachandran are the two key contenders for cabinet secretary’s post to be vacant next year. Babu blogger had first reported on April 28, 2009 that DEA secretary Ashok Chawla would be India’s finance secretary a fortnight before the announcement of his appointment. Read, “DEA secretary Ashok Chawla likely to be next Finance Secretary”. Also read babu blogger’s post on June 23, 2009, “Finance secretary Ashok Chawla given additional charge of disinvestment; now controls 3 out of 5 Finmin departments”. Babus on course: Last date of application for a training programme in Japan extended Here’s a warning bell for those officers who are eligible to apply for a two-month-long training programme on solid waste management in Japan, but have not sent their applications so far. In fact, department of personnel & training (DoPT) has issued a circular announcing that the last date of applying for the course to be held in Japan from October 4 to November 27, 2009, had been extended, but officers should now apply immediately. To cross-check whether you are eligible to apply, please long on the website,

1 comment:

  1. A charming personality, Chawla will be the right candiadate for the top notch post in North Block...Next year he might emerge stronger...

    PK, Goa