Anil Pushpangadan, Gandhinagar: Two major decisions taken by Union Finance Secretary Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, i.e. the scrapping of Indian currency banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 and the introduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST), had broken the back of many a citizen, and it also invited the ire of his boss, the prime minister of the country Narendra Modi too. Adhia was in the race for the post of cabinet secretary, but it is being said that a top official from Gujarat played spoilsport for him.

Gujarat cadre’s 1981-batch alumnus Dr. Adhia, who will be retiring in November this year, would have enjoyed his stint at the center for two more years, had he been made the cabinet secretary. He was supposed to take the place of current cabinet secretary P.K. Sinha, who will be soon retiring. But the senior most IAS officer who works from the Prime Minister’s Office ensured that in no circumstances there should be two power-points in one place and hence, extended the stint of the current cabinet secretary. It was PM Modi who brought Dr. Adhia to New Delhi gave him the reins of the country’s finance department. He was the revenue secretary and later went on to become the finance secretary.

On the evening of November 8, 2016, PM Modi took the nation by shock and surprise by announcing the demonetization of currency notes of the value of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. The brain behind this idea was that Dr. Adhia, but it was PM Modi who had to face all the brickbats from the citizens. While the government was recovering from this, another major decision that dealt a heavy blow to the vote bank of the prime minister was the introduction of GST and its numerous changes and amendments that had followed. It directly affected the livelihood and finances of many countrymen.

It’s been four years since Dr. Adhia’s reputation at the center. Had he stayed back in Gujarat, he might have become the chief secretary today. But now after four years; he will be stepping down from the center.

Click here to read this in English