Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Was it PMO’s Vini Mahajan who asked for the finance ministry’s controversial 2G note?

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s letter to Prime Minister, as it was published by a section of media, has suggested the controversial 2G note dragging current home minister P Chidambaram into the 2G scam, was sent to PMO “upon the insistence of the JS, PMO through her phone calls to secretary, DEA”. The department of economic affairs (DEA) comes under the finance ministry. As Mukherjee’s letter indicated the joint secretary was a woman officer, the obvious candidate would be Vini Mahajan, a 1987 batch Punjab cadre IAS officer. Ms Mahajan who is now on an extension in PMO has been handling many areas including telecom in PMO.
The 2G note that was made into an Office Memorandum on March 25, 2011, became controversial because it said then home minister P Chidambaram could have prevented the scam by insisting on the auction of 2G spectrum. After the Office Memorandum came out in public domain through an RTI, Mukherjee wrote a 2-page confidential letter to Prime Minister giving details about why and how the note was prepared, and how it landed up in the PMO. After all, the March 25 2G note was released to an RTI applicant by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Mukherjee in his letter said, “DEA was not in favour of sending the note after its finalization through a formal OM (Office Memorandum). It was upon the insistence of the JS, PMO, through her phone calls to Secretary, DEA, that the communication was sent through a formal OM on March 25, 2011.”
Also Read
Dr PGS Rao, the man who singed the 2G note
Action and Appointments
a) Pradeep Kumar Chaudhery, a 1977 batch Haryana cadre IAS, presently special secretary in the department of commerce, has been appointed as secretary in the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) in place of Rajinder Pal Singh, a 1976 batch AP cadre IAS, who retired on October 31, 2011.
b) Ms Manjula Prasher, a 1976 batch IPoS officer, has been appointed as secretary in the department of posts.
c) SK Goel, a 1975 batch IRS officer, took charge as the chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) on October 31, 2011. Goel has handled various assignments in the department of revenue under the ministry of finance all over the country. Prior to his appointment as the chairman, he has been working as Member (Customs) in CBEC. He is a recipient of the President’s Award for Specially Distinguished Services.

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