1. Budget 2024: Meet FM Niramala Sitharaman’s team behind Interim Budget

Budget 2024: Meet FM Niramala Sitharaman’s team behind Interim Budget

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5 min read • Updated: January 19, 2024, 3:50 PM

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Summary

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s team this year also comprises the Finance Secretary, Revenue Secretary and Economic Affairs Secretary. The team behind the Union Budget also includes four Additional Secretaries to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Interim Budget this year.

Can you guess what kind of efforts go into drafting the Union Budget of a country like India? It could be surprising for many that the process begins more than a half year earlier.

It takes almost 6-7 months of preparation for the finance ministry before it presents the Budget in the Parliament.

A dedicated team of bureaucrats led by the finance minister usually starts the budget-making process in August-September every year in order to understand the requirements and recommendations of different ministries, departments and stakeholders across sectors.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Interim Budget this year as the Lok Sabha elections are scheduled in the next few months. The full Budget is expected to be presented by the new governments in July after general elections. Like every year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s team this year also comprises the Finance Secretary, Revenue Secretary and Economic Affairs Secretary. The team behind the Union Budget also includes four Additional Secretaries to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Let’s take a detailed look at the career of these bureaucrats and their role in the budget-making process:

TV Somanathan, Finance Secretary

TV Somanathan is India’s finance secretary since April 2021. He is a 1987-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from the Tamil Nadu Cadre. Somanathan holds a doctorate in Economics. He is also a qualified chartered accountant (CA), cost accountant and company secretary. Somanathan oversees the expenditure department and provides guidance on financial allocation under the Budget to different ministries and departments.

Sanjay Malhotra, Revenue Secretary

Revenue secretary Sanjay Malhotra is a 1990-batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre and an IIT-Kanpur alumnus. Before joining as Secretary, Department of Revenue, he was Secretary, Department of Financial Services. He looks into various tax-related proposals for the Budget and is also the ex-officio secretary to the GST Council.

Ajay Seth, Economic Affairs Secretary

Ajay Seth is the secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs. He belongs to the IAS, 1987 batch, Karnataka Cadre. In his career spanning 33 years, Seth has been in the domain of public finance and taxation for 18 years. Seth works in matters related to budget, tax policy, foreign investments, bilateral and multilateral financial cooperation, development financing and public-private-partnerships.

Tuhin Kanta Pandey, DIPAM Secretary

Tuhin Kanta Pandey is Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). Pandey is a 1987 batch IAS officer of Odisha cadre. He has earlier worked in various capacities with the Odisha government as well as the central government. As the DIPAM Secretary, Pandey’s key role is to draft plans regarding the government’s disinvestment programme.

Vivek Joshi, financial services secretary

Vivek Joshi is secretary, Department of Financial Services. He joined the IAS in 1989. Joshi holds a PhD in International Economics from the Graduate Institute, Geneva (Switzerland). He is also an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, where he did his B.E. in Mechanical Engineering in 1987. Joshi is responsible for policies, schemes and legislations related to the banking sector. The policy matters pertain to public sector banks, insurance sector, financial institutions, financial inclusion and pension reforms.

V Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor

V. Anantha Nageswaran was appointed as the Chief Economic Advisor in January 2022. Prior to this appointment, Nageswaran was a writer, author, teacher and consultant. Nageswaran is responsible for keeping a watch on the health of the Indian economy. His analysis is documented in the Economic Survey and becomes the basis of the Union Budget.

PK Mishra, Principal Secretary to the PM

PK Mishra is a 1972 batch IAS officer belonging to Gujarat cadre. Mishra has also served as the Principal Secretary to Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The position of Principal Secretary to the PM acts like a point of contact between the finance ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office during the drafting of the budget.

Arvind Shrivastava, additional secretary to PMO

Shrivastava is a 1994-batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre. Shrivastava’s LinkedIn profile describes his role as the one responsible for formulating Union Budget and fiscal plan, managing central government’s borrowing programmes and handling policies of small savings schemes. Punya Salila Srivastava, additional secretary to PMO Srivastava is a 1993-batch IAS officer from the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre. The seasoned bureaucrat is a Postgraduate in Science from St. Stephens College, University of Delhi. She is a known face among the general public as she used to address the briefings on behalf of the ministry of home affairs (MHA) during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hari Ranjan Rao, additional secretary to PMO

Rao is a 1994 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre. At the PMO, the technology and governance verticals come under his administration. Prior to joining the PMO, Rao was posted as the administrator of the Universal Services Obligation Fund in the Department of Telecommunications.

Atish Chandra, additional secretary to PMO

Chandra is a 1994-batch Bihar cadre IAS officer. He looks after the rural vertical. His area of supervision in budgetary exercise includes the ministries of Rural Development, Agriculture, Panchayati Raj and Jal Shakti. Chandra was working as Chairman and Managing Director, Food Corporation of India, before joining the PMO.