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HomeIndiaGovernance‘Controversial’ IAS officer Subhash Garg says exit from finance ministry was unceremonious

‘Controversial’ IAS officer Subhash Garg says exit from finance ministry was unceremonious

On last day, Subhash Garg, who was shifted from finance to power ministry, posts note on Twitter, says his bold decisions may have not gone down well with bosses.

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New Delhi: Subhash Chandra Garg, the former finance secretary who opted for voluntary retirement from service after being shunted to the power ministry, says he was an “independent-minded officer” who implemented bold and unconventional decisions that may have not kept his bosses in “good humour”.

Garg posted a detailed seven-page note summarising his 36-year career on his Twitter handle Thursday. the last day of his service.

In the note, Garg wrote how larger public interest was the sole criterion behind his decisions.

“It is not that I was immune to the consequences of my independent and unconventional ways of functioning. It might be a little strange, but all my postings as chief of finance departments in the state and at the centre ended little bit unceremoniously,” he wrote.

He added that he could have become the longest-serving finance secretary if he had held the post until his superannuation in October 2020.

Garg was a 1983-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre who was appointed secretary, economic affairs, in the Ministry of Finance in June 2017. He was designated finance secretary in March 2019.

The senior-most secretary among the five secretaries heading various departments in the finance ministry is appointed the finance secretary.

In his note, Garg thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and current Principal Secretary to the PM P.K. Misra for selecting him for the post of the executive director, World Bank, and as secretary, Department of Economic Affairs.

Garg was shifted out of the finance ministry after a controversial budget proposal to raise sovereign bond overseas in external currencies received a lot of criticism from many economists and former central bank governors.

Garg also stridently pushed for a one-time transfer of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) reserves to the government in the meetings of the Bimal Jalan committee looking into the capital economic framework.

Garg did not attend at least two of the meetings and is said to have left before the last meeting of the panel concluded.

Also read: Why Subhash Chandra Garg’s final days in office have IAS colleagues scratching their heads

Not new to controversies

As a secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Garg was not new to controversies. He was in the midst of a public spat between the RBI and the government over the issue of transfer of surplus reserves from the central bank as well as the issue of the RBI’s autonomy.

He even publicly took on then RBI deputy governor’s comments about governments who don’t respect the central bank’s autonomy facing the wrath of the markets.

“Rupee trading at less than 73 to a dollar, Brent crude below $73 a barrel, markets up by over 4% during the week and bond yields below 7.8%. Wrath of the markets?” Garg had written on Twitter.

Future plans

Garg plans to remain active in the policy space and wants to set up an economic and financial policy think-tank

In his note, Garg said there is little investment happening in India’s infrastructure despite enormous unmet demand in sectors such as housing, roads, airport, railways, energy and irrigation. He pointed out that no businesses will invest in the absence of returns. He batted for aggressive privatisation of the public sector and building a financial system that can cater to the requirements of firms to build a $10 trillion economy by early 2030s.

Garg added that he visualises himself as a “policy analyst, policy craftsman and strategist and an advocate” for developing the right kind of economic and financial policy framework.

Also read: Like his tenure as finance secretary, IAS officer Subhash Garg’s exit was also on own terms


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  1. After the Budget fiasco, he should have been dismissed and his retirement benefits halved if not scrapped. This daft man’s foolhardiness combined with other inept babus of FinMin led to so much wealth erosion in secondary market and made investors, promoters extremely injured with all the mess.

  2. Given the reality of our eco system, post retirement opportunities are contingent almost entirely on how well regarded the officer is by the establishment. Observe some recent Independent Director slots.

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