No rush to fill additional secretary post

Vol 20, PW 26 (21 Sep 17) News in Brief

You can judge how important a bureaucrat's post is by the disturbance generated when it sits empty.

And so it is with the redundant position of Additional Secretary in the oil ministry. Nobody it seems, least of all oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, seems the slightest bit bothered about filling this position, vacant since Ajay Prakash Sawhney was elevated three months ago in June to secretary in the ministry of electronics and information technology.

"Have you heard anything about Sawhney's replacement?" asks a ministry source. "Additional secretaries don't have much work," he adds.

"Most of it is done by joint secretaries." Six joint secretaries in the oil ministry handle a range of responsibilities from refineries, exploration, gas pricing, marketing to international cooperation. "All the final decisions are made by the secretary (KD Tripathi)," we hear.

"Files go to the additional secretary only as a formality." Rajiv Bansal, another additional secretary (finance and accounts) in the oil ministry since June 24, was simultaneously appointed interim CMD of Air India on August 23, proof if any he has little or no work in the oil ministry.