Nirmala Sitharaman wanted me out of FinMin, says Ex-Finance Secretary

Siddhant Pandey
·2-min read


Nirmala Sitharaman wanted me out of FinMin, says Ex-Finance Secretary
Nirmala Sitharaman wanted me out of FinMin, says Ex-Finance Secretary

31 Oct 2020: Nirmala Sitharaman wanted me out of FinMin, says Ex-Finance Secretary

Former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg on Saturday blamed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for his sudden transfer from the Ministry.

Garg was transferred out of the Ministry in June last year, roughly three weeks after the Narendra Modi-led government released its first budget after re-election.

In a blog post, Garg wrote that Sitharaman had pre-conceived notions about him and insisted on his transfer.

Details: Sitharaman insisted on my transfer, says Garg

Garg claimed that Sitharaman had "asked for and insisted on my transfer from the Ministry of Finance in June 2019 itself, within one month of her taking over as FM."

However, instead of taking the transfer from the Finance Ministry—where he handled the Department of Economic Affairs—to the Power Ministry, Garg said he had opted for voluntary retirement early.

Quote: 'She has a very different personality, skill-set, and approach'

Garg wrote, "She has a very different personality, skill-set, and approach for economic policy issues and also for the officers working with her."

He said, "It became quite apparent very early that working with her was going to be quite difficult and it might not be conducive to undertaking necessary reforms for the attainment of the objective of building a $10 trillion economy."

Fact: Sitharaman came with pre-conceived notions about me: Garg

Garg—a Rajasthan cadre officer of the 1983 IAS batch—added, "[Sitharaman], for reasons not very clearly known to me, came with some pre-conceived notions about me. She did not seem to have confidence in me. She was not quite comfortable working with me as well."

Key background: Garg was in-charge of economic affairs amid RBI-government rift

Garg had been at the helm of the economic affairs amid a rift between the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

It is widely believed that Garg had triggered the government's ask for the RBI's surplus cash reserves. This had led to the resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel in December 2018, and Deputy Governor Viral Acharya in June 2019.