New Delhi: Having played a key role in the rollout of the historic Goods and Services Tax (GST), Finance Secretary — top bureaucrat in the finance ministry — Hasmukh Adhia would be retiring on November 30, 2018.
Adhia was also holding the key office of revenue secretary.
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey has been named as Adhia’s successor as the revenue secretary.
Adhia, 1981-batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer, moved to Delhi in November 2014 as the secretary in the Department of Financial Services after Narendra Modi became the prime minister.
In August 2015, he was appointed as the revenue secretary and became finance secretary — the top most bureaucrat in the finance ministry– in November 2017.
Although Adhia was associated with a host of key government programmes like Mudra Yojana, bank recapitalisation plan-Indradhanush, and other key social security schemes, his most important contribution in his four years in the central government is the implementation of GST — the biggest tax reform since Independence. He was also associated with framing of anti-black money laws.
According to sources, Adhia did not seek extension or any post retirement job, and as a yoga enthusiast, he is keen to pursue spirituality.
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post that Adhia is a no-nonsense civil servant who performed his job with professionalism and impeccable integrity.
Wishing Adhia all the best for his post retirement life, Jaitley said he (Adhia) had informed me earlier this year that he would not work for a single day after the 30th of November 2018.
Adhia in a series of tweets thanked Modi and Jaitley for their guidance and leadership and expressed gratitude to his officers and staff.
During his four years in the finance ministry, Adhia was involved in most of the flagship programmes of the government. While Adhia was Financial Services Secretary, besides Mudra and Indradhanush, he played a key role in formulation of Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Scheme.
As the secretary in the Revenue Department, Adhia literally burned the midnight oil to ensure rollout of the GST, which has been hanging fire for last 17 years. People associated with GST implementation said, it was because of Adhia’s perseverance that GST Council cleared tax rates on over 1,200 items in two-day meeting in Srinagar in May, 2017.
The GST, which replaced 17 central and state levies including factory-gate, excise duty, service tax and local sales tax or VAT, is India’s biggest tax reform in 70 years of Independence and is aimed at modernising Asia’s third largest economy.
During his tenure in the finance ministry, Adhia was no stranger to controversies. He came under attack of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy who raised questions about the dominance of private companies in the GST Network (GSTN), the company providing the IT backbone for the GST.
During his tenure in the finance ministry, Adhia came under attack when he tried to take strict action against some powerful officers facing corruption allegations.