Friday, July 18, 2014

Know Your Babu: How Rajan S Katoch, now heavy industry secretary, gave a public face to ED

Rajan S Katoch, 1979 batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS and the bureaucrat who gave a public face to the hitherto secretive agency Enforcement Directorate is now secretary of the department of heavy industry. For the next six months, he will continue to be Enforcement Director (ED) in addition to his new role as secretary. BoI here picks out a few innovative things that Katoch had experimented with as ED:
First, very few people remember by now that Katoch was not the first choice when the government had to zero in on a successor of Arun Kumar Mathur in February, 2012. As BoI had written then, the government was apparently confused in identifying the ED whose directorate would be investigating multi-billion dollar 2G spectrum allocation case, money laundering aspects of the Commonwealth Games scam in addition to handling cases such as ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda.
Before Katoch was chosen, there were two appointments in just 15 days. Katoch’s batch-mate Amitabh Ranjan was first named as ED for a month. In less than a fortnight, the decision was altered, and another finance ministry official Rakesh Singh was appointed as ED.
Finally, Katoch took charge as ED in March 2012. Once he came into action, he changed the directorate and let ordinary people know what this agency is upto. Today, ED has a website on its own, and is also armed with a Twitter handle. “Happy to be part of the Twitter community, says Director Rajan Katoch” is one of its Tweets. Another Tweet talks about ED special director Balesh Kumar attending a global meet at Macau, something ordinary people won’t have known sometime ago.
Today, ED has 49 offices, and its seized assets jumped manifold. In 2012-13, for which data is available, Enforcement Directorate seized assets worth Rs 2,357 crore which was a seven fold increase from previous fiscal. Katoch, according to a news report in The Hindu, terms it the “tip of the iceberg”.
Originally hailing from Himachal Pradesh, Katoch moved to Madhya Pradesh as an IAS. Between 1990 and 1994, he worked with the World Bank on deputation. Later, as a joint secretary, he was with the Planning Commission. Katoch was also the resident commissioner of Madhya Pradesh Bhawan.
Katoch is a PhD in economics. He will retire in February 2016.


  1. Please post him to Indian Railways for similar outstanding results!

  2. Even IRS should learn from IAS how to be media savvy.