AN OLD Kamal Nath hand Raminder Singh Gujral, a 1976 batch Haryana cadre IAS, has been appointed as secretary to the ministry of road transport and highways. A Humphery fellow from US, Mr Gujral has been the Director General of foreign trade from June 2007 and had closely worked with Nath when the latter was the minister of commerce and industry during the last UPA government.
Nath, who is now the Union road transport and highways minister, has been looking for someone effective and reliable, as there are reports that the minister would fail to accomplish his promise of building 20 km of highways a day. What’s more, according to a Planning Commission report, which has not yet been endorsed by deputy chairman, Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the highways implementing authority NHAI may even go bankrupt sometime in future. Gujral may not only have to speed up the process of building roads in the country, and firewall the onslaught of the Planning Commission. Gujral, who is both an LLB and MBA, is replacing Brahm Dutt, a 1973 batch Karnataka cadre IAS.
The 1976 batch IAS officers have virtually captured the power corridors with many important ministries are now under their clutch. The 1976 batch secretaries include disinvestment secretary Sumit Bose, financial services secretary R Gopalan, Overseas Indian secretary A Didar Singh, higher education secretary Vibha Puri Das, agriculture secretary PK Basu, DIPP secretary RP Singh, mining secretary Subramanyam Vijay Kumar, petroleum secretary S Sundareshan just to name a few.
Nath wants officers to change attitude