New Delhi, November 7, 2017

The government on Monday appointed revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia as the new finance secretary, designating him the top officer incharge of the budget-making exercise.

Adhia, the senior-most bureaucrat in the finance ministry, will be the first among equals and will coordinate the annual exercise. He replaces Ashok Lavassa, who superannuated at the end of October.

The responsibility will be in addition to his revenue portfolio, which involves smooth implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in addition to the government's crack down on black money. The Gujarat-cadre IAS officer has been a familiar face in the finance ministry. By appointing Adhia, the government has also put in place the key members of the budget team, which has several new faces.

Dipam secretary Neeraj Gupta, chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian and CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra are the only surviving members from finance minister Arun Jaitley's last budget team.

Since then, SC Garg was appointed the new economic affairs secretary, while AN Jha took over as expenditure secretary aweek ago. Rajiv Kumar too was recently appointed the financial services secretary, while Vanaja Sarna took over as CBEC chairman in April.

Along with Adhia, the appointments committee of cabinet also appointed Binoy Kumar as special secretary in the commerce department to improve the logistics framework and improve the network and processes for movement of goods across the country.

[The Times of India]