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‘Mamata’s trusted officers don’t retire’ — chief secretary joins list as industry body head

Rajiva Sinha, who has been made West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation chair, is latest civil servant to earn important post-retirement posting under Mamata govt. 

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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has appointed Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha as chairman of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), the government’s nodal agency for industry, for a three-year term after his retirement from the IAS Wednesday.    

Veteran IAS officer Sinha over the new position Thursday, a day after he retires on 30 September. The post of WBIDC chairman is currently held by West Bengal Finance, Industry and Commerce Minister Amit Mitra. 

Rajiva Sinha is only the latest civil servant to earn an important post-retirement posting under the Mamata Banerjee government. Two of the most important positions in the state government — State Security Adviser (SSA) and Principal Secretary to CM — are currently held by retired officers. 

While SSA Surajit Kar Purkayastha retired as West Bengal DGP in 2018, the post of principal secretary to CM is held by Gautam Sanyal, whose official tenure in the Central Secretariat Service (CSS) ended in 2011.

Also Read: Mamata shunts top Bengal health officer — it’s the 5th IAS officer transfer during lockdown

‘Trusted officers don’t retire’

In June 2015, Mamata Banerjee re-designated Sanyal as Principal Secretary to the CM, the most senior position in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO). 

Sanyal retired in 2011 and was serving as secretary to the chief minister at the time. It is an open secret in administrative circles that Sanyal looks after the state administration and takes almost all important decisions. 

Speaking to ThePrint, a retired civil servant said Mamata’s “trusted officers don’t retire”. “The secretary to CM post is a cadre post, which means it is only for IAS officers. However, Sanyal is one of the most trusted officers of Banerjee and he has been with her since her days in the rail ministry. Her trusted officers do not retire,” the civil servant added. 

In 2018, former DGP Surajit Kar Purkayastha was appointed as SSA, a post on the lines of national security adviser (NSA) that Mamata carved out in May that year and equipped with sweeping powers over security and law-enforcement agencies. 

Sinha’s new charge as WBIDC chair was announced as part of a major reshuffle in the West Bengal IAS ranks, involving nine transfers and promotions, that was effected Monday. 

Among the other decisions, Mamata has promoted West Bengal home secretary Alapan Banerjee as the state’s chief secretary, and finance secretary H.K. Dwivedi as the new home secretary. 

Also Read: Mamata transfers top IPS officers, including director of her own security


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