Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia to retire at end of November, says Arun Jaitley; Ajay Bhushan Pandey to take over

Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia is set to retire at the end of November after having held the post for three years, Arun Jaitley has announced in a Facebook post. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), will take over from Adhia, CNBC-TV18 reported.

In a Facebook post titled 'Dr Hasmukh Adhia retires', Jaitley said "he was unquestionably a highly competent, disciplined, no-nonsense civil servant and of course, with impeccable integrity."
His only diversion from his duties was his passion for spirituality and yoga, he added. Jaitley added that the government wanted to use the outgoing finance secretary's capability and experience in some alternative capacity.

Hasmukh Adhia. PIB

File image of Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia. PIB

"He (Adhia) had informed me earlier this year that he would not work for a single day after 30 November, 2018. His time thereafter belongs to his favourite passion and, of course, his son," Jaitley wrote.

Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), moved to Delhi in November 2014 as secretary in the Department of Financial Services after Narendra Modi became prime minister.

Giving credit to Adhia for implementing Goods and Services Tax (GST), Jaitley said, "It was his efforts supported by his team of officers of Centre and state governments, which made it possible to hit the deadline of 1 July, 2017. Rate reductions and smoothening of the rough edges were also achieved in a record time."

Recalling Adhia's tenure as revenue secretary, Jaitley said tax base and tax realisation saw an "exponential increase".

"He was ably supported by the two boards, CBDT and CBIC. The follow-up after demonetisation in detecting the large cash depositors and making them accountable was no mean challenge," the finance minister noted.

During his four-year stint in the finance ministry, Adhia spearheaded the rollout of the historic GST, besides implementing a host of laws to unearth black money. He was also deeply involved in formulation of various social sector programmes of the Modi government.

"His tenure as the revenue secretary will be remembered for various initiatives where he provided the bureaucratic leadership in shaping and implementation of the policy. The campaign against black money both within and outside the country was the initial highlight of the revenue department," Jaitley said.

Jaitley also noted that the Income Tax department now functions online with no physical interface between the assessee and the assessment official. "I wish him all the best for his post-retirement life. Thank you, Dr Adhia," Jaitley said.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 17, 2018 16:02:37 IST

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