The government on Friday appointed R. Gopalan, a 1976-batch IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, Economic Affairs Secretary in the Finance Ministry.
He will replace Ashok Chawla, who is currently the Finance Secretary in charge of Department of Economic Affairs. Mr. Chawla retires on January 31.
Mr. Gopalan, according to official sources, will take charge from February 1. He is currently Financial Services Secretary in the Ministry.
He will take charge at a time when the Finance Ministry is busy formulating proposals for the 2011-12 Budget.
Sushama Nath, a 1974-batch Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer from Madhya Pradesh and the seniormost official in the Ministry, is likely to become the Finance Secretary.
Due to retire on March 31, she has been working as Secretary in the Expenditure Department in the Finance Ministry since April 2008.
Ms. Nath, Mr. Gopalan, along with Disinvestment Secretary Sumit Bose and Revenue Secretary Sunil Mitra will be the key persons assisting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in unveiling the Budget next month.